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Vacant Amato Opera House Tagged by Vandals in Bowery

By Patrick Hedlund | March 28, 2011 8:14pm | Updated on March 29, 2011 5:18am

By Patrick Hedlund

DNAinfo News Editor

EAST VILLAGE — The Amato Opera house on the Bowery is starting to look like its former skid-row neighbors as future plans for the property remain a mystery.

The building at 319 Bowery near East 2nd Street — home to the celebrated opera company for nearly a half-century before its closing in 2010 — was recently covered in graffiti while waiting for a new tenant to take over the space.

A plan to reopen the venue as a dinner theater was unveiled last July, but building records show that no work has been performed at the site since.

Meanwhile, vandals — including the street artist Katsu, who was behind a recent fake-ad campaign on the Lower East Side — have started tagging the all-white building as it sits unused.

Enrico Ciotti, owner of V Bar in the East and West Villages, detailed a plan for the 4,000-square-foot space last summer that included opening a theater on the building's first two floors and a full-service restaurant on the third floor.

He declined to elaborate on the status of the project Monday after noting last August that he was still working to get the venture off the ground.

A person familiar with the situation confirmed that the space was still on the market and being shown to prospective tenants.

A listing for the property also remains online, offering bidders the chance to "rent a piece of New York history" for $22,500 per month.

Multiple calls to the building's owner were not immediately returned.