Demolished Broadway Theatres - T to Z
Compiled by John Kenrick
(The images below are thumbnails – click on them to see larger versions.)
- Theatre Comique (1st)
- Theatre Comique (2nd)
- Thirty-Ninth Street
- Tripler Hall
- Union Square
- Wallack's (1st)
- Wallack's (2nd)
- Weber and Fields Music Hall
- Windsor (Bowery - Downtown)
- Windsor (48th Street - Midtown)
- Winter Garden (Old)
- Wood's Minstrel Hall
- Wood's Museum
North Side of 14th Street, East of Broadway
This auditorium was housed in the headquarters of New York's infamous political machine, Tammany Hall. It held legitimate productions from 1869 to 1876.
- see The Bowery
Theatre Comique (1st - 514 Broadway)
- see Wood's Minstrel Hall
Theatre Comique (2nd)
728 Broadway (Opposite Waverly Place)
Demolished: 1884 (fire)
Other names: Lucy Rushton's New York Theatre
History: This was a Unitarian Church until department store owner A.T. Stewart converted it into a theatre for actress Lucy Rushton in 1865. It was here in 1866 that The Black Domino and Between You, Me and the Post became the first Broadway productions to bill themselves as "musical comedies." Considered haunted by its religious past, this house fell into disuse use until Harrigan and Hart refurbished it and renamed it Theatre Comique in 1881. It was destroyed by fire three years later.
Thirty Ninth Street Theatre
- see Nazimova's
- see Winter Garden (Old)
Union Square Theatre
Broadway and Fourth Avenue
Also Named: Acme
Owners: Sheridan Shook, Albert Palmer (1872-1883), Keith and Albee (1873-1914).
History: Built for variety shows, the Union Square switched to legit bookings in 1872. In 1883, Keith and Albee added it to their growing vaudeville circuit -- the Four Cohans made their Manhattan debut on the opening bill. A movie house from 1914 on, it was renamed the Acme in 1921 and served as a home for Soviet Russian films.
148 West 48th Street
Architect: Eugene DeRosa
Owners: Lyle Andrews (1918-1935)
History: A favorite house for intimate musicals and plays in the 1920s, the Vanderbilt became a radio studio in the 1930s and 40s. It was demolished after a series of flops in the early 1950s. The parking garage that replaced it was designed by theatre architect Herbert J. Krapp.
Musicals: Oh Look (1919), Irene (1919), The Girl Friend (1926), Peggy Ann (1926), A Connecticut Yankee (1927), New Faces of 1936
- see Jolson's 59th Street
116 West 50th Street
Demolished: Late 1960s
Architect: Herbert J. Krapp
History: With few hits, this theatre converted to movie use in 1933. Its location is now occupied by the Exxon Building.
Musicals: Take the Air (1927)
(This name was also used by Lew M. Fields
Broadway and Broome Street (SW corner)
Also Named: Lyceum, Broadway
History: Built by actor John Brougham, who called it the Lyceum. Actor-manager James W. Wallack took over the house in 1852 and renamed it for himself. After Wallack left to manage his new 13th Street theatre (see below), the theatre underwent several changes of name and ownership.
Broadway at 13th Street
Later named: Germania, Star
Note: This was the second theatre to bear the name of actor-manager James W. Wallack. After Wallack's death, his son Lester managed the theatre until 1881. Later known as the Germania and the Star, it housed all sorts of productions until it was demolished to make room for a skyscraper.
Musicals: Fritz Our German Cousin (1870)
- see Hope Chapel
Weber and Fields' Music Hall
216 West 44th Street
Later named: 44th Street Theatre
Architect: William Albert Swasey
Owners: The Shuberts (1912-1940), The NY Times (1940-1945)
History: Initially named in honor of beloved producer-comedians Joe Weber and Lew Fields, after one year this house was renamed the 44th Street Theatre. It had a rooftop theatre that was named after Nora Bayes for a time. The site was cleared in 1945, and is currently occupied by the offices of the NY Times.
Musicals: Animal Crackers (1928), Rosalinda (1942), Follow the Girls (1944)
On the Bowery
Located across the street from the landmark Bowery Theatre, this less prestigious house is best remembered as a home for the Yiddish theatre in the 1890s and early 1900s. David Kessler and Jacob Adler starred in numerous productions here. Musicals101 is seeking more information on this theatre, and will post it when available.
- see 48th Street
Winter Garden (Old)
Also named: Tipler Hall, Laura Keene's 1st Varieties, Burton's New Theatre
Built: 1850, rebuilt 1854
Demolished: 1867 (fire)
History: Initially a concert hall, this capacious hall was leased by a succession of stellar talents, including soprano Jenny Lind and actress/manager Laura Keene. It housed several musicals during the 1860s when it was known as The Winter Garden. American tragedian Edwin Booth was appearing here in repertory when the building burned to the ground in 1867.
Wood's Minstrel Hall
514 Broadway (between Spring & Broome Streets)
Later named: Wood's Theatre (1866), Wood's Theatre Comique (1867)
History: A converted synagogue, this was home to several minstrel shows and Lydia Thompson's British burlesque troupe before the space was renamed Theatre Comique in the 1870s. Harrigan and Hart presented a series of musical comedies here from 1879 until moving to a new Theatre Comique in 1881.
Musicals: Mulligan Guards Ball (1879)
- see Daly's
Sixth Ave. at 54th Street
Architect: Joseph Urban
Owners/Managers: Florenz Ziegfeld (1927-1932), Billy Rose (1943-1965)
History: This theatre was an art deco masterpiece with a unique egg-shaped auditorium. Placed several blocks Northeast of the theatre district, it was a landmark unto itself. After Ziegfeld's death, it became a movie venue for a decade until producer Billy Rose purchased the theatre and made it his headquarters. The Ziegfeld housed a series of long-running hits over the next decade, but its uptown location eventually made it less popular. Rose bought adjoining properties to make the location attractive to developers, but died before he could close a deal. His estate sold off the property for demolition in 1966. A skyscraper and an 1,100 seat movie theatre now share the site. Called The Ziegfeld, the movie house has a lobby exhibit covering Ziegfeld's career.
Musicals: Rio Rita (1927), Show Boat (1927), Bittersweet (1929), Show Girl (1929), Ziegfeld Follies of 1931, Smiles (1930), Hot-Cha (1932), Seven Lively Arts (1944), The Red Mill (Revival-1945) Brigadoon (1947), Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1949), Kismet (1953), Foxy (1964), Anya (1965)