Broadway Theatre

1681 Broadway,
New York, NY 10019

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Broadway Theatre - New York (Official)

Additional Info

Previously operated by: B.S. Moss Enterprises, Shubert Brothers Theater Company, Universal Chain Theatrical Enterprises Inc.

Architects: Eugene DeRosa

Functions: Concerts, Live Theater

Styles: Italian Renaissance

Previous Names: B.S. Moss Colony Theatre, Colony Theatre, Cine Roma

Phone Numbers: Box Office: 212.586.1444

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News About This Theater

Broadway Theatre

Opened as the B.S. Moss' Colony Theatre on December 25, 1924, with “The Thief of Baghdad” starring Douglas Fairbanks and accompanied by an orchestra conducted by Edwin Franko Goldman. B.S. Moss Enterprises built the theatre for movies, and with stage facilities for vaudeville. Architect Eugene DeRosa designed the Colony Theatre. It was taken over by Universal Pictures chain in 1927. Because of its size, stage presentations were smaller than at the Paramount Theatre(1926) and Roxy Theatre(1927), but continued until December 1930 when it was taken back by B.S. Moss Enterprises. In that month, Moss changed the Colony Theatre’s name to Broadway Theatre and turned the theatre ‘legitimate’. The first booking was a musical comedy, “The New Yorkers” starring Jimmy Durante and with a score by Cole Porter, but it only ran for twenty weeks.

Walt Disney’s “Fantasia” opened in New York on November 13, 1940 at the Broadway Theatre and played as a roadshow for over a year, with a special sound system, ‘Fantasound’. The World Premiere of Walt Disney’s “Dumbo” was held at the Broadway Theatre on October 23, 1941.

The Broadway Theatre is best known by movie historians as the first place Cinerama and its inaugural film “This Is Cinerama” played anywhere in the world. After its September 30, 1952 World Premiere at the Broadway Theatre, “This Is Cinerama” ran for 35 weeks and was then transferred to the Warner Theatre, where it was shown for another 88 weeks. The Broadway Theatre returned as a ‘legit’ showcase.

The Shubert Organisation restored the Broadway Theatre in 1985-86, employing the architectural firm of Fox & Fowle. Little of the interior existed when they started. The Broadway Theatre reopened April 10, 1986 with Bob Fosse’s “Big Deal” which was a flop, but the following year struck gold with “Les Miserables”, followed by “Miss Saigon”. Several years ago, the Broadway Theatre received a new entrance and marquee, due to construction of an adjacent skyscraper hotel that cantelevers over it. Tucked away from the razzle dazzle of Times Square, the Broadway Theatre’s Art Deco style sign hints at its glory days.

Contributed by William Gabel, Cinema Treasures

Recent comments (view all 65 comments)

DavidZornig on June 28, 2017 at 2:35 pm

vindanpar, CC’s above comment has been removed, but it is still present under the photo. I stated above that it was “on stage”, but did not do so on the photo description. The notification is what alerted members to the addition of the photo, so it is moot.

vindanpar on June 28, 2017 at 5:12 pm

Ok I was just trying to figure out the point of CC’s post.

m00se1111 on June 19, 2023 at 4:54 am

Walt Disney’s Steamboat Willie debuted here in October 1928, when it was still known as the Colony.

That info shown is this video of the Main St Cinema in Disneyland at 1:33

robboehm on June 19, 2023 at 10:42 am

Another major reno not mentioned in the overview was the one for the stage production of Candide. All the seats were removed. The audience sat in a balcony that ran around the entire theatre. The show was performed below in the entire space.

m00se1111 on June 20, 2023 at 3:34 pm

we’ll presume you mean the original run of Candide and not the revival?

If that kind of reno is a thing worth nothing, then a similar renovation took place for the show that opened June 17, 2023 - “ Here Lies Love” From “Here Lies Love is based on former Filipina First Lady Imelda Marcos' astonishing rise to power and subsequent fall at the hands of the Philippine People Power Revolution. From the minds of David Byrne and Fatboy Slim, Here Lies Love transforms the theatre into a dance club where the audience is immersed in the story.”

Opening night is July 20th, it has an open ended run. ( correcting my faux pas in original posting)

DavidZornig on June 20, 2023 at 4:04 pm

Union dispute regarding Byrne’s upcoming show was resolved as of June 9th.

Comfortably Cool
Comfortably Cool on June 21, 2023 at 7:55 am

A four-page article, with five large color photos, can be found in “Out With the Velvet Seats, in With the Dance Floor” in the June 19-July 2 issue of New York Magazine. This link might not work for everyone, but worth a try: Click here

robboehm on June 21, 2023 at 10:51 am

Worked for me. Wonder how the public will receive the production.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on June 24, 2023 at 6:17 pm

Looks nothing like it, but sort of brings to my mind when they renovated the Palladium (former Academy of Music) from a theater into a nightclub in the late ‘80’s.

robboehm on June 24, 2023 at 6:52 pm

Don’t forget the Gallo Opera House became Studio 54. The place to be. They also did a renos of the Crescent, Carlton, Floral, Williston and Suffolk Theatres to be catering halls.

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