Current Broadway Theatres: N to R

Compiled by John Kenrick

(Copyright 2009)

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

Ticket holders  
        line up to see Rent in the summer of 2002Nederlander

208 West 41st Street
Previous names: National, Billy Rose
Built: 1921
Seats: Originally 1,164 - now 1,181
Owners/Managers: Walter Jordan (1921-1927), The Shuberts (1927-1959), Billy Rose (1959-??), The Nederlanders (1978-present)
Architect: William Neil Smith
History: Originally a tennis court, this space was converted by the Shuberts and theatrical agent Walter Jordan – who soon sold his rights to the Shuberts. When the Shuberts were forced to sell off theatres as part of an antitrust settlement, producer Billy Rose bought this venue and named it after himself. The Nederlanders bought it and renamed it The National in 1978, then named it for themselves in 1980. After years of disuse, it became home to the long-running Rent in 1996.
Noteworthy Musicals: Tonight at 8:30 (1936), Call Me Mister (1946), Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music (1981), Rent (1996)

Neil Simon

244 West 52nd Street
Previous name: Alvin
Built: 1927
Seats: Originally 1,362 - now 1,428
Owners/Managers: Alexander Pincus (1927-1946), Herman Bernstein (1946-1977), The Nederlanders (1977-present)
Architect: Herbert J. Krapp
History: This popular musical comedy house was built by producers Alex Aarons and Vinton Freedley, who gave it a combination of their first names(Al+vin). The theatre was renamed for playwright Neil Simon in 1984.
Noteworthy Musicals: Funny Face (1927), Girl Crazy (1930), Anything Goes (1934), Boys From Syracuse (1938), Lady in the Dark (1941), Forum (1962), Company (1970), Annie (1977), The Music Man (Revival - 2000), Hairspray (2002)

New Amsterdam

214 West 42nd Street
Built: 1903
Restored: 1997
Seats: Originally 1,702 - now 1,793
Owners/Managers: Erlanger & Klaw (1903-??), The Nederlanders (1983-1993), The Disney Corporation (1993-present)
Architects: Herts & Tallant - restored by Hugh Hardy (1994)
History: The flagship of Klaw and Erlanger's theatrical empire, the New Amsterdam (New York City's original Dutch colonial name) remains one of America's most outstanding examples of art nouveau architecture. When the Great Depression made tenants scarce in the 1930s, the New Amsterdam became a studio for Ed Wynn's radio series. The main theatre served as a movie grind house from 1937 to 1983, at which time the theatre closed for "renovations." Delays and ownership battles stretched over a decade, until Disney took over the property in 1996 and invested $34 million in a sumptuous restoration. After more than a century, The New Amsterdam is once again Broadway's grandest theatre, and is designated an official New York City landmark. A 693 seat rooftop theatre housed Ziegfeld's Frolics, and served as a radio studio and rehearsal space through the 1950s -- unfortunately, it was too far gone to be restored to use.
Noteworthy Musicals: Forty Five Minutes From Broadway (1906), The Merry Widow (1907), Sweethearts (1913), Ziegfeld Follies (1913-1927), Watch Your Step (1914), Sally (1920), Sunny (1925), Rosalie (1928), The Bandwagon (1931), Face the Music (1932), The Lion King (1997), Mary Poppins (2006)

New Victory

207 West 42nd Street
Previous names: Republic, Belasco (1st), Minsky's
Built: 1902
Seats: Originally 982 - now 489
Owners/Managers: Oscar Hammerstein I (1902-1904), David Belasco (1904-1910), A.H. Woods (1910-??), Minsky (1930-1942)
Architect: Albert E. Westover (1902); Bigelow, Wallis & Cotten (1904)
History: Built by Hammerstein as the Republic, this intimate house was soon leased by producer David Belasco, who renovated the interior and renamed the theatre for himself. When Belasco built the Stuyvesant and gave it his name in 1910, producer A.H. Woods took over this house and promptly renamed it the Republic again. Home to Minsky's Burlesque from 1930 to 1942, it became a movie grind house during World War II and was patriotically named the Victory. Handsomely renovated in 1995, this is now the only theatre in the Broadway area dedicated exclusively to family entertainment. Because the seating capacity was reduced to 489, productions at the New Victory are not eligible for Tony Awards. (Not to be confused with Hammerstein's Victoria Theatre, the vaudeville house which used to stand next door at the corner of Broadway and 42nd Street.)

The program cover for The Palace Palace

1564 Broadway
Built: 1913
Seats: Originally 1,736 - now 1,695
Owners/Managers: Martin Beck (1913), Keith & Albee (1913-??), The Nederlanders (1965)
Architect: Kirchoff & Rose - restoration by Ralph Alswang (1965)
History: America's premiere vaudeville theatre from 1913 to 1932, the Palace was used as a movie house for the next three decades. There were several attempts to revive a variety format headed by top stars, most notably Judy Garland (1951 and 1967). It became a Broadway house in 1966. Encased in a high rise hotel since 1990, the theatre's original interior is mostly intact.
Noteworthy Musicals: Sweet Charity (1966), George M (1968), Applause (1970), Woman of the Year (1981), La Cage Aux Folles (1983), Will Rogers Follies (1991), Beauty and the Beast (1994), Aida (2000), Legally Blonde (2007)

Gerald Schoenfeld

234 West 45th Street
Previous Name: Plymouth
Built: 1917
Seats: Originally 1,036 - now 1,079
Owners/Managers: The Shuberts (1917-present)
Architect: Herbert J. Krapp
History: Managed initially by producer Arthur Hopkins, this relatively intimate theatre (named for the early pilgrim settlement in Massachusetts) did not see its first musical until 1946. In 2004, this house was named for the longtime head of the Shubert Organization, Gerald Schoenfeld.
Noteworthy Musicals: Lute Song (1946), Irma La Douce (1960), Runaways (1978), Ain't Misbehavin' (Moved - 1981), Passion (1994), Jekyll and Hyde (1997), Bells Are Ringing (Revival - 2001)

Richard Rodgers

226 West 46th Street
Previous name: Chanin's 46th Street, 46th Street Theatre
Built: 1925
Seats: Originally 1,429 - now 1,322
Owners/Managers: Irwin & Henry Chanin (1925-1931), The Shuberts (1931-1945), City Playhouses (1945-1982), The Nederlanders (1982-preent)
Architect: Henry J. Krapp
History: A generously raked auditorium gives this house excellent sight lines. Long known as the 46th Street, it was renamed for composer/producer Richard Rodgers in 1990.
Noteworthy Musicals: Good News (1927), Hellzapoppin' (1938), DuBarry Was a Lady (1939), Panama Hattie (1940), Finian's Rainbow (1947), Guys and Dolls (1950), Damn Yankees (1955), Redhead (1959), How to Succeed (1961), Chicago (1975), Movin' Out (2003), Tarzan (2006)

Bernard Jacobs

242 West 45th Street
Other Names: Golden (1934-1937), CBS Radio Theatre (1937-1940), Royale (1940-2004)
Built: 1927
Seats: Originally 1,172 - now 1,066
Owners/Managers: Irwin & Henry Chanin (1927-1930), The Shuberts (1930-present)
Architect: Herbert J. Krapp
History: After many ill-fated productions, the Shuberts leased this house to producer John Golden, who named it for himself. The Royale was leased out as the CBS Radio Theatre from 1937 to 1940. At that time, Golden gave his name to a neighboring theatre, and the Shuberts renamed this house the Royale. It has since been home to dozens of hits. In 2004, plans were announced to rename this theatre for the late head of the Shubert Organization, Bernard Jacobs.
Noteworthy Musicals: Piggy (1927), Oh Ernest! (1927), Rang Tang (1927), The Second Little Show (1930), New Faces of 1952, The Boy Friend (1954), Grease (Moved - 1972), Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (1982), Song & Dance (1986), Jekyll & Hyde (1997)

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