A historic building in the New York City skyline is being shuttered by the current historical moment.
Since opening in 1924, the Roosevelt Hotel at 45 E. 45th St. has prolifically featured in movie history and been the set for a number of important political happenings, but the coronavirus pandemic is forcing it to close its doors.
After 96 years in business, the hotel has announced it will shutter this year as a result of the novel virus’ financial fallout.
“Due to the current, unprecedented environment and the continued uncertain impact from COVID-19, the owners of The Roosevelt Hotel have made the difficult decision to close the hotel and the associates were notified this week,” a spokesperson told CNN in a statement. “The iconic hotel, along with most of New York City, has experienced very low demand and as a result the hotel will cease operations before the end of the year. There are currently no plans for the building beyond the scheduled closing.”
The hotel, which is owned by Pakistan International Airlines, may soon cease to exist in its current incarnation, but it will live on via the silver screen, where it appears in films including “Maid in Manhattan,” “Malcolm X,” “Wall Street,” “The French Connection,” and “The Irishman,” it proudly lists on its website.
The New Year’s Eve tradition of singing “Auld Lang Syne,” was also born at the Roosevelt, where Guy Lombardo and his Orchestra were first broadcast singing it — one anecdote from the group’s 30-year tenure performing in the space. As well, the hotel was the site of Governor Thomas Dewey’s 1948 election headquarters, and where Dewey incorrectly announced he had defeated Harry Truman. This is all in addition to experiencing and surviving close to a century of American history, from Prohibition to World War II.
The hospitality sector as a whole has experienced brutal economic fallout as a result of the pandemic, with close to 90 percent of NYC bars and restaurants rendered unable to pay their August rent.
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