Demolished Broadway Theatres - G to He

Compiled by John Kenrick

Copyright 2009

(The images below are thumbnails – click on them to see larger versions.)

Gaiety program coverGaiety

1547 Broadway near 46th Street
Later names: Gaiety Burlesque, Victoria, Embassy
Built: 1908
Demolished: 1982
Seats: 787
Architects: Herts & Tallant
Owners: Built by Klaw & Erlanger
History: This elegant space housed only one Broadway musical before becoming a silent movie house in 1926. Part of Minsky's burlesque chain from 1935 to 1942, it resumed movie screenings as the Victoria. In 1949 the boxes were removed and the walls stripped of ornamentation. Renamed the Embassy in 1980, it was one of five theatres demolished to make space for the Marriott Marquis Hotel.
Musicals: Tell Me More (1925)


Madison Avenue at 27th Street
Built: 1890
Demolished: 1925
Seats: 1,200
Architects: McKim, Mead and White
Owners/Managers: Albert M. Palmer (1890-1896), Charles Frohman (1896-1915)
History: Part of the old Madison Square Garden complex, this theatre booked plays, operas and musicals, becoming a favorite with fashionable audiences of the 1890s. Architect Stanford White was murdered while attending a 1906 performance in the Madison's open-air Garden Roof summer theatre. Soon afterward, the roof fell into disuse and the main theatre became part of the "subway circuit" of neighborhood theatres presenting post-Broadway tours. In its final year, it housed amateur groups and film screenings. This is now the location of the New York Life Insurance Building.
Noteworthy Musicals: The Algerian (1893), Mam'zelle Champagne (Roof Garden - 1906)


- see Harrigan's

George M. Cohan

1482 Broadway
Built: 1911
Demolished: 1938
Seats: 1,086
Architect: George Keister
Owners/Managers: George M. Cohan and Sam Harris (1911-1915), Joe Leblang (1915-1932)
History: The lobby artwork was a tribute to the vaudeville career of Cohan and his family. Purchased by discount ticket agent Joe Leblang in 1915, it served as a fulltime movie house from 1932 until its demolition six years later.
Noteworthy Musicals:  The Perfect Fool (1921)


- see Wallack's (2nd)

Grand Opera House

8th Avenue & 23rd Street (Northwest Corner)
Also named: Pike's Opera House (1868)
Built: 1868
Demolished: 1960
History: Soon after opening, this elegant theatre was renamed The Grand Opera House. It was used as a movie house in its final years.


- see Virginia


- see Lew Fields

Hammerstein's Olympia - The Lyric

Broadway between 44th and 45 Streets
Later named: Lyric, Criterion
Built: 1895
Demolished: 1935
Seats: originally 1,850
Architects: J. B. McElfatrick & Sons
History: Built by impresario Oscar Hammerstein I as part of a two-theatre complex with the much larger Music Hall (see below). The free-spending Hammerstein lost the theatre in 1899, and it was leased to producer Charles Frohman, who renamed it the Criterion. The space was used as a movie theatre from 1920 until its demolition fifteen years later.

Hammerstein's Olympia - The Music Hall

Broadway between 44th and 45 Streets
Later named: New York, Moulin Rouge
Built: 1895
Demolished: 1935
Seats: originally 3,815, rebuilt at 1,675
Architects: J. B. McElfatrick & Sons
Note: Built by impresario Oscar Hammerstein I as part of a multi-theatre complex with the smaller Lyric (see above) and an additional rooftop theatre. Klaw and Erlanger bought the theatre and renamed it the New York in the early 1900s. The rooftop theatre was the original home for the Ziegfeld Follies (1907-1911), which moved into the Music Hall for 1912 when it was briefly renamed the Moulin Rouge. Loewe's ran this space as a movie and vaudeville theatre from 1915 until its demolition.
Noteworthy Musicals: The Ziegfeld Follies (1907-1912), In Dahomey (1903), 45 Minutes From Broadway (1906), Naughty Marietta (1910).

Hammerstein's Victoria

Broadway at 42nd Street
Built: 1899
Demolished: 1915
Seats: 950
Architects: J. B. McElfatrick & Sons
History: America's top vaudeville house for more than a decade, it faded soon after The Palace opened in 1913.  The Victoria was demolished in 1915, and should not be confused with it's next door neighbor, Hammerstein's Republic, which is now called the New Victory.

Harrigan's Theatre program coverHarrigan's

63 West 35th Street
Later named: Garrick
Built: 1890
Demolished: 1932
Architect: Francis Hatch Kimball
History: Built by actor/playwright Edward Harrigan. This ornate theatre was renamed the Garrick in 1895, and was the home of the Theatre Guild from 1919-1925. It was a burlesque house from 1929 until it's demolition. The program cover above left includes sketches of the theatre's interior and exterior.
Noteworthy Musicals: Reilly and the 400 (1890), The Garrick Gaities (1926, 1927)


This name has been connected with two demolished 42nd Street theatres --

Haverly's 14th Street

14th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues - see 14th Street

Helen Hayes (1st)

206 West 46th - see Folies Bergere

Herald Square

1331 Broadway (at 34th Street)
Built: 1894
Demolished: 1915
Seats: 1,148
Architects: Rose & Stone
History: In 1915, this corner theatre became the first legitimate house in New York to switch over to film screenings. Actress Helen Hayes made her Broadway debut here as a child in the forgotten Victor Herbert operetta Old Dutch.
Noteworthy Musicals: Old Dutch (1909)

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