Joe Cino was proprietor of the Caffé Cino, located at 31 Cornelia Street, from 1958 to 1968. Despite not having a theater or cabaret license, Cino enthusiastically provided a venue for emerging playwrights and performers to hone their craft and bring new works to an audience, at a time when venues were not available. Lanford Wilson, Sam Shepard, John Guare, Tom Eyen and Bernadette Peters are just a few of the people who are a part of Caffé Cino history.
Magie Dominic, a writer and artist who performed and was an assistant director at Caffé Cino in the 1960s, shared her experiences at the legendary place commonly referred to as the birthplace of Off-Off-Broadway theater. In 2011, she donated a treasure trove of Caffé Cino memorabilia to the NYPL’s Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center and established The Magie Dominic Caffé Cino Archives. She also read from her just-released book, Street Angel.