Demolished Broadway Theatres - M to O
Compiled by John Kenrick
(The images below are thumbnails – click on them to see larger versions.)
- Madison Square Theatre
- Majestic (1st - 58th Street)
- Maxine Elliott's
- Mechanic's Hall
- Henry Miller
- Nassau Street
- Nazimova's 39th Street
- New Century
- New Park
- New York
- New Yorker
- Niblo's Garden
- Nora Bayes
- Olympic (1st)
- Olympic (2nd)
Madison Square Theatre
- see Fifth Avenue
Broadway and 59th Street, at Columbus Circle
Later named: Park, Cosmopolitan, International
Architect: John H. Duncan
History: Built by the Pabst Brewing Company as part of an entertainment complex. Renamed The Park in 1911, then the Cosmopolitan in 1922 and The International in 1944, it was used as an NBC television studio from 1949 until its demolition in 1954 Sid Caesar's variety series Your Show of Shows was broadcast from here.
Noteworthy Musicals: The Wizard of Oz (1903), Babes in Toyland (1903), The Rose of the Alhambra (1907), The Quaker Girl (1912), Sing Out Sweet Land (1944)
- see Standard
107 West 39th Street
Architect: Marshall & Fox
History: Named for a popular actress, this was the first theatre built by the Shubert Brothers in the Times Square area. Ms. Elliott managed the house through 1920, after which it had few successful tenants. From 1941 onwards, it was used as a radio and television studio.
Also named: Butler's American Theatre
Demolished: 1868 (fire)
History: For its first ten years, this theatre housed E.P. Christy's Minstrels, then the most popular minstrel troupe in New York. The Bryant Brothers Minstrels followed (1857-1865), as did other troupes. Renamed Butler's American in 1867, the building burned down less than a year later.
124 West 43rd Street
Alternate name: The Kit Kat Club
Seats: originally 946, now 631
Owners/Managers: Henry Miller (1918-1930), Gilbert Miller (1930-1963)
Architect: Ingalls & Hoffman and Paul R. Allen
History: Built by and named for actor-producer Henry Miller, whose producer son Gilbert purchased the house in 1930. A porno movie venue in the 1960s, the space became the disco Xenon. In 1997, it was renamed the Kit Kat Club for the Roundabout Theatre revival of Cabaret the first musical to play this house, which was renamed The Henry Miller for the run of Urinetown.
Noteworthy Musicals: Cabaret (Revival - 1998), Urinetown (2001)
217 West 45th Street
Architect: John H. Duncan
History: Named for producer Oliver Morosco, this intimate house was a popular venue for dramas and comedies. It was one of several theatres demolished to make way for the Marriott Marquis Hotel.
64-66 Nassau Street, between Maiden Lane and John St.
Also named: The New Theatre
Owner: Rip Van Dam
History: Believed to be New York City's first formal theatre, it was owned by the acting governor of the colony. In 1750, it hosted New York's first-known performance of a musical, The Beggar's Opera, presented by Murray & Kean's traveling theatrical troupe. No depictions of it are known to survive. Its architect and seating capacity are unrecorded.
Noteworthy Musicals: The Beggar's Opera (1750)
NW corner of Church & Leonard Streets
Also named: Italian Opera House
Demolished: 1841 - fire
History: Unsuccessful as an opera venue, this space converted to theatrical presentations in 1836. It was home to James Wallack's company, and house several early musicals. It burned down in 1841, but it seems that the name was soon taken by another auditorium -- there are programs for performances at "The National" as late as 1852.
National (2nd - Bowery)
Also named: Roumania Opera House
In the 1880s, a Bowery theatre called "The National" housed Yiddish theatre performances starring Siegmund Mogulesko. Musicals101 is looking for further information on this theatre, and will post it when available.
Nazimova's 39th Street
119 West 39th Street
Later Named: The 39th Street
Architect: William A. Swasey
Owners: The Shuberts
History: Initially named for actress Alla Nazimova, this intimate theatre never housed a musical. Too small to turn a profit, it was demolished to make was for a high rise office tower.
- see Jolson's 59th Street
New Fifth Avenue
- see Fifth Avenue
932 Broadway (Between 21st & 22nd Streets)
Later Named: Abbey's Park Theatre (1876)
Demolished: 1882 (fire)
This theatre was plagued by debt until manager Henry Abbey took over in 1876.
Central Park West at 62nd Street
Later Named: New Colonial, Harkness
Seats: Originally 2,318
Architect: Carerre & Hastings
History: Built by high society subscribers to promote non-commercial productions, this oversized and lavishly appointed theatre soon switched over to booking musicals and was renamed the Century. Upstairs, the 500 seat Century Roof was home to musical revues. The Shuberts managed the house from 1920 to 1929, but an inconvenient location and terrible acoustics made this an unpopular house with actors and audiences. The location is now filled by the Century Apartment complex.
Noteworthy Musicals: The Century Girl (1916), Miss 1917, Yip Yip Yaphank (1918), The Rose of Stamboul (1922), Princess Flavia (1925)
New York Roof Garden
- see Jardin De Paris
- see Studio 54
Broadway at Prince Street (NE Corner)
Seats: approximately 3,000
History: William Niblo built this house as part of an entertainment complex that included an outdoor garden. New York's most fashionable theatre in the mid-19th century, it was destroyed in an 1846 fire and rebuilt three years later. This second Niblo's was home to The Black Crook, considered by many scholars to be the first Broadway musical. The neighborhood still boasts a number of buildings from the 1800s, but Niblo's location is currently occupied by a 20th Century office building.
Noteworthy Musicals: The Black Crook (1866) The White Fawn (1868), Le Barbe Blue (1868), Evangeline (1873)
216 West 44th Street
Architect: William Albert Swasey
Owners: The Shuberts (1912-1940), The NY Times (1940-1945)
History: The roof theatre atop the Weber & Fields Music Hall (a.k.a. 44th Street Theatre) went by many names, but is best remembered for the time it was named after musical and vaudeville star Nora Bayes. After housing a series of intimate but unsuccessful musicals, it fell into disuse by the 1940s.
Noteworthy Musicals: All Aboard (1913), My Golden Girl (1920), Our Nell (1922), The Wonder Bar (1931)
- see Jack Norworth
422 Broadway (between Howard & Grand Streets)
Later Name: Mitchell's Olympic
History: Modeled after the London Olympic, eventual owner William Mitchell turned this into one of the most popular theatres in Manhattan. It was converted into retail space in 1852, and burned down two years later.
Noteworthy Musicals: 1940! (1840), A Glance At New York (1848)
622 Broadway (just above Houston Street)
Previous name: Laura Keene's Varieties
History: Originally built by and named for American actress Laura Keene, who produced the record-setting musical extravaganza Seven Sisters (1860) here. It was renamed Mrs. John Wood's Olympic in 1863, and was home to the record setting pantomime Humpty Dumpty. The Olympic remained a popular venue for musical burlesques until its demolition.
Noteworthy Musicals: The Seven Sisters (1860), Humpty Dumpty (1868)