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6 Historic New York City Theatres

Angled picture of night traffic in the city City & Venue Guides

New York City is renowned for its diversity and culture, which includes these 6 historic New York Theatres. New York City Landmarks Commissioner Elliot Wilensky said that “These theaters are more than the history of New York City… They are of the significance of the Statue of Liberty or the Brooklyn Bridge.” Take a deeper look into these 6 historic New York City Theatres and see show-stopping productions like Bad Cinderella, Wicked, The Lion King and more.

Hudson Theatre

The Hudson Theatre is one of the oldest remaining Broadway spaces, with its construction taking place from 1902 to 1903. Henry B. Harris, a popular Broadway producer, oversaw the theatre’s construction, which boasted the largest lobby on Broadway at the time. Since its debut with Cousin Kate in Oct. 1903, the Hudson Theatre has put on many great productions including Death of a Salesman, Sunday in the Park with George, Alice in Wonderland and others. 

In the mid-1980s, the Hudson Theatre underwent renovations and was converted into a conference center for a hotel. It wasn’t until 2015, that the Hudson theater was restored to its original purpose as a Broadway theatre. Renovations cost $7 million and the Hudson theater reopened again in 2017. A Doll’s House has its home at this infamous venue, starring award-winning actress Jessica Chastain. 

Majestic Theatre 

Constructed by the Chanin Brothers in 1927, the Majestic is one of three theatres in its complex which also includes the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre and the John Golden Theatre. Able to seat up to 1,681 guests and with two levels, the Majestic is a theatre best suited for showing musical productions thanks to its large size. For the past 35 years, the Majestic Theatre has had the honor of hosting the longest-running Broadway production, The Phantom of the Opera, whose final curtain call comes on April 16. The Majestic Theatre has presented many notable performances in its history such as The Music Man, Anyone Can Whistle and The Wiz

Beacon Theatre

Beacon Theatre has been a prominent venue in New York since it was built in 1929. Originally designed as a movie palace, Beacon Theatre can seat up to 2,894 guests across its three levels. It wouldn’t be until 1976 that this theater was transformed into the performing arts center that it is today. In 1979 Beacon theater was designated as an NYC landmark by the NYC Landmarks Preservation Committee. 

Beacon Theatre has hosted many concerts, film screenings, and award ceremonies among other events. Some prominent entertainers that have performed here include the Rolling Stones, Bonnie Raitt, and Coldplay. This theater has also served as a stage for live comedy specials by popular acts like Trevor Noah and Jerry Seinfeld

Lyceum Theatre 

Lyceum Theatre is another venue that has stood the test of time on Broadway. Opening in 1903, the Lyceum is the oldest running theater in Broadway history. While having a seating capacity of 922, the theatre has undergone several renovations in the 1980s as well as the early 2000s. Between 2003 and 2005, Lyceum Theatre had a one-million-dollar revamp to include accessible access and to fix the roof and street facade. 

Its longest-running show was Born Yesterday, which premiered in 1946 and had more than 1,600 performances. Other prominent productions include several works of Shakespeare like Macbeth and The Merchant of Venice, along with the comedy The Play That Goes Wrong.

Gershwin Theatre 

Originally known as the Uris Theatre in 1972, the venue’s name was changed to honor the composer Geroge Gershwin during the 1983 Tony Awards. The Gershwin also houses the Theatre Hall of Fame, which was established in 1970 to honor lifetime achievements in theater and the performing arts. With 1,933 seats, the Gershwin Theatre has showcased amazing plays, ballets and concerts with greats like Ella Fitzgerald, Bing Crosby, and Frank Sinatra. 

Needing a more complex set for Andrew Lloyd Weber’s Starlight Express the theatre was renovated in 1993. Wicked opened in 2003 and over the years the Gershwin theater has had productions like Fiddler on the Roof, Oklahoma!, and Sweeney Todd grace the stage.

Stephen Sondheim Theatre

First known as the Henry Miller Theatre, this venue was constructed in 1918, with the building’s facade built by its namesake, Henry Miller, the same year. Stephen Sondheim Theatre underwent several changes in its history, including serving as an adult entertainment theater and nightclub from the 1970s to the 1990s. The theatre itself reopened as a Broadway venue in 1998 for the revival of Cabaret

Being in a state of disrepair, the theatre was renovated in 2000 with new seating and an AC system. In 2010, the Henry Miller Theatre became the Stephen Sondheim Theatre, celebrating the composer’s 80th birthday. With a seating capacity of 1,055, the Stephen Sondheim Theatre has put on Broadway shows for Urinetown and the Olivier Award-winning musical, & Juliet

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