Theatre bookshop closes after 187 years

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Samuel French, the bookseller, publisher and theatrical licensing company, is being forced to close its famous Fitzrovia bookshop by rising rents.

The company was founded by Thomas Hailes Lacy in 1830 with its bookshop in various London locations before settling permanently in Fitzroy Street in 1983.

Instead, French’s will expand its online business, through which it sells four out of five of its books. The publishing and licensing operations will move to offices in Euston.

“it is with a very heavy heart that we announce the closure of our bookshop in April – we’re extremely sad to see it go and send a huge thank you to all the staff and customers from all over the world who’ve supported the shop through the years” said French’s managing director, Douglas Schatz. “However, we are also very excited about the future of Samuel French, with the growth of our online shop, our innovation in digital play reading, the forthcoming relaunch of our Acting Edition play texts and our expanding catalogue of new authors”.

Samuel French is the leading licensor of plays to perform in the UK, with more than 6000 shows in its catalogue.

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