Demolished Broadway Theatres - E to F
Compiled by John Kenrick
This 1885 program cover for the Madison Square Theatre shows a lavish Victorian interior. This is where Gilbert and Sullivan's Pirates of Penzance premiered six years before, when the space was called The Fifth Avenue Theatre (see below).
(The images on this page are thumbnails – click on them to see larger versions.)
- Earl Carroll (1st)
- Earl Carroll (2nd)
- Edyth Totten
- Fellows Opera House
- Fifth Avenue
- Fifth Avenue Opera House
- Follies Bergere
- Forty-Eighth Street
- Forty-Fourth Street
- Forty-Ninth Street
- Forty-Sixth Street
- Fourteenth Street
Broadway at 33rd Street (Herald Square)
Later named: Standard Manhattan (1897-1909)
Architects: J. B. McElfatrick & Sons
History: The first major theatre built on Herald Square, this house was renamed the Standard in 1878, and the Manhattan in 1897. It was demolished to make way for Gimbel's department store, and the location is now a shopping mall.
Musicals: Robin Hood (1891)
Earl Carroll (1st)
753 Seventh Avenue
Architect: George Keister
Owner: Earl Carroll
History: Producer Earl Carroll built this understated auditorium with money provided by Texas oil millionaire Col. William R. Edrington. They decided to replace it with a larger house, demolishing this building to make way for it.
Musicals: Earl Carroll Vanities (1923), Kid Boots (1923), Earl Carroll's Sketchbook (1929)
Earl Carroll (2nd)
753 Seventh Avenue
Later name: Casino
Architect: George Keister and Joseph Babolnay
Owner/Manager: Earl Carroll (1931-1932), Flo Ziegfeld (1932)
History: In an attempt to outshine the Ziegfeld Theatre, producer Earl Carroll built this eye-popping art deco showplace with money provided by Texas oil millionaire Col. William R. Edrington. Opening at the height of the Great Depression, it drove Carroll and Edrington into crippling debt. A gleeful Ziegfeld took over the house and renamed it the Casino for a 1932 revival of Show Boat but went bankrupt himself months later. After a brief stint as a nightclub, the building was converted to retail space in 1940. It was Whelan's Drugs Store, which became a Woolworth's, and the public gradually forgot that this structure had been a theatre. During demolition in 1990, some of the colorful but long-hidden art deco ornamentation was visible to bemused pedestrians.
Musicals: Earl Carroll Vanities (1931), Show Boat (Revival - 1932)
247 West 48th Street
Later Named: President, Midget, Artef, American Show Shop, Gilmore's, 48th Street, Erwin Piscator's Dramatic Workshop
Architect: Paul C. Hunter
History: Originally named for the now-forgotten actress Edyth Totten, this small theatre never had a bona fide hit. Often renamed, it was frequently referred to as the President because it stood across the street from The President Hotel. The building became part of Mamma Leone's Italian restaurant in 1955.
Same name also used by Eltinge
1430 Broadway near 40th Street
Architects: J. B. McElfatrick & Sons; renovated by Carerre & Hastings (1903)
Owner: Al Hayman
History: This intimate theatre was considered unattractive until the interior was redecorated in 1903. The Empire then became one of the most beloved Broadway theatres of its era, housing such non-musical hits as Life With Father (1939) and Member of the Wedding (1950).
Fellow's Opera House
History: Located in the City Assembly Rooms building, this space was briefly the home of Christy's Minstrels.
27 West 28th Street (NW Corner)
Also named: Gilsey's Apollo Hall, St. James (1870), New Fifth Avenue, Madison Square (1891), H.C. Miner's 5th Avenue Theatre
Built: 1860s, Rebuilt after fire in 1891
Note: Although not on Fifth Avenue, this theatre took its most lasting name from an opera house that burned down in 1873 see below for details. An 1877 renovation included an innovative ventilation system that blew air over blocks of ice, making this the world's first air conditioned theatre. In the 1880s, it was one of the most popular venues for operetta. Destroyed by fire in 1891, it was rebuilt at the same location and renamed the Madison Square. It became a vaudeville house in 1900 and hosted burlesque as of 1929. It was a movie house when it shut down in the late 1930s.
Musicals: The Pirates of Penzance (1879 - US Premiere)
Fifth Avenue Opera House
Fifth Avenue at 24th Street
Later named: Fifth Avenue Theatre, Broughman's
Demolished: 1873 (fire)
Note: From 1869 on, this house was managed by Augustin Daly. When the theatre burned down, hard times delayed rebuilding. A new theatre was built on 28th Street (see above).
Musicals: The Christy Minstrels performed here, followed by comedies and major burlesque troupes.
206 West 46th Street
Later names: Fulton, Helen Hayes
Architects: Herts & Tallant
Owners: Henry B. Harris and Jesse Lasky (1911-1921), A.L. Erlanger (1921-??)
History: Originally a Parisian-style nightclub, this elegant auditorium was soon converted to legitimate theatrical use and renamed the Fulton. It was named for actress Helen Hayes in 1955, and housed many important plays. It was one of five theatres demolished to make way for the Marriott Marquis Hotel.
Musicals: New Faces of 1934, The Me Nobody Knows (1970)
Forty Eighth Street
(Same name used briefly by Edyth Totten)
157 West 48th Street
Later Named: Windsor
Seats: Unverified - under 1,000
Architect: William A. Swasey
History: This intimate house was named the Windsor from 1937 to 1943, then returned to its original name. Its longest running tenant was the comedy Harvey (1944).
Musicals: Hayride (1954)
Forty Fourth Street
Forty Ninth Street
235 West 49th Street
Later Name: Cinema 49
Owners/Managers: The Shuberts (1921-1933)
Architect: Herbert J. Krapp
History: Built by the Shubert Brothers, who sold it during the Great Depression. This was a movie theatre from 1938 until its demolition two years later.
Musicals: Chauve-Souris (1922)
Forty Sixth Street
- see Richard Rodgers Theatre
14th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues
Also named: Theatre Francaise (1866), Fourteenth Street (1870), Lyceum (1872), Haverly's 14th Street (1879), Fourteenth Street (1885)
History: This house was built by producers M. Guignet & C. Drivet to hold French plays and comic operas. After four years, new owners renamed it and switched to a less restricted booking policy. This handsome house became home to J.H. Haverly's minstrel troupe. It had a final blaze of glory as home to Eve Le Gallienne's Civic Repertory company 1926-1932.
- see Lew Fields
- see Follies Bergere