For over 100 years, the most significant 20th century artists and performers have lived and worked in the 165 studios atop Carnegie Hall, including Marilyn Monroe, Isadora Duncan, Barnett Newman, Norman Mailer, Marlon Brando, and George Balanchine. In 2007, the Carnegie Hall Corporation began to systematically evict the artists (some in residence for over 60 years), destroy the studios, and convert the space into offices. Ironically, many of the elderly artists who were faced with eviction had been instrumental in saving Carnegie Hall when it was slated for demolition in 1960.

Alarmed by the situation, photographer Josef Astor, a resident of the Carnegie Hall Studios for over 20 years, began to film his neighboring artists: ballet and drama instructors, dancers, singers, sculptors, painters, and writers. Over a period of eight years, first-time director Astor filmed several hundred hours of the remaining artist tenants as they fought to preserve the studios for future generations. LOST BOHEMIA is Astor’s intimate, affectionate portrait of these extraordinary people, who share the pleasures and struggles of working in a new New York City that has become increasingly inhospitable to artists.

LOST BOHEMIA is the only film documentation of the Carnegie Studios, the artists, and the Studio’s significant history. Through interviews, vintage film and photographs, television footage, materials from the artists’ private collections, and music, the documentary spotlights the Carnegie Studios, the important artists who worked there, and the loss of entire creative legacies fostered by those professionals who taught generations of singers, dancers, writers, and artists.