History Behind the Curtain: Broadway Theatre

The first play I went to as a teen was Fiddler on the Roof and was hooked.  I continued to go to live theatre during my college years. In 1982, I became a TDF member and  I was able to attend a lot of theatre on and off Broadway. Most Broadway theatres are historic and they are treasures that I hope will be preserved for a long time.

Broadway Theatres are defined by the size (number of people in the audience) and the quality of the performance. Musicals require live musicians. The smallest theatres seat about 500 but many seat over a thousand. Most of the theatres are in the Theatre District (W 40th St to W 54th St) of NYC but others like the Vivian Beaumont Theater at Lincoln Center are not.

Many of the 41 Broadway Theatres are named after producers,  actors and others associated with the theater.

Samuel J. Friedman Theatre

The 1925 theatre at 261 W 47th St is named for publicist Samuel J. Friedman. 

Ethel Barrymore Theatre:

The 1928 theater at 243 W 47th St is named after actress Ethel Barrymore.

Brooks Atkinson Theatre:

The 1926 theatre at 256 W 47th St is named after NY Times theater critic Brooks Atkinson.