Oldest Broadway Theaters

We all know that Broadway is a centuries-old institution, but did you know when the first theater opened, and who knew the oldest Broadway theaters?

Park Theatre (Bonus)

The 2,000-seat Park Theatre opened during the Revolutionary War and was run by Thomas Kean and Walter Murray. The hall has 280 seats and has been transformed into a stage for Shakespeare plays, ballads, and operas. This is a fairly old venue, but it is the oldest active theater on Broadway and is located on Nassau Street. 

According to legend, it is haunted by the ghost of the original owner, a woman with the same name as one of its actors. The haunted house began as a house of horror in the early 20th century, with its own fire and the presence of a ghost. 

Don’t worry, this rumor has been under investigation since Marlon Brando’s release and I personally believe it is the godfather. It’s rumored that this was removed from production in 1971, but I’m not sure it’s true. This is clearly one of the oldest Broadway theaters, but now let’s see the active ones!

The Belasco Theatre, 1907

It has 1,016 courts and has been playing for years, The last show there was “The Girl from the North.” Belasco is one of the oldest theaters in New York City with a history of more than 50 years. It is the oldest theatre in the world, with an average age of 80 years, and the hall had 1,006 seats. 

The New Amsterdam Theatre, 1903

The Art Nouveau Hall was the largest on Broadway at the time of its construction and could hold 1,702 spectators. It also had two performance rooms and the hall could accommodate up to 2,000 spectators per performance, with a total capacity of 3,500 people per performance. 

The Hudson Theatre, 1903

The Hudson Theatre is famous for its lobby and glass ceiling created by Tiffany, as well as its unique design. Inside the theatre, there are also hidden light effects such as a large glass window and a glass wall. The New Amsterdam was a cinema until 1985 when it was bought by Disney when it became their flagship. 

The Hudson Theatre has changed many things over the years and it has been used as a theatre, but also for a variety of events such as the New York Film Festival. In 2015, the theater was rebuilt to house the first Broadway production of the musical adaptation “The Lion King.” 

The Lyceum Theatre, 1903

The curious thing about the Lyceum is that the theatre producer David Frohman owns a penthouse apartment with a view of the stage. The small window was used to present the exaggerated wife of actress Margaret Illington with a white handkerchief. 

New Victory Theater (1900)

The New Victory Theatre is the leader amongst the oldest Broadway theaters and deserves the name Temple of Melpomene. The fact that the Lyceum is one of the few theaters in New York that has had to keep its original name for so many years makes it the only theater with such a name and one of the few that has never changed its name. 

The New Victory has endured a glorious fate over the years, and the theater’s façade is a testament to its long history as one of New York’s most iconic buildings. When it opened, it had carved parapets and was later extended by a roof garden in the 1920s. 

It served as a burlesque house and then as an adult cinema, and was renovated in the late 1960s and early 1970s to house the New Victory Theater, the first of its kind in New York. 

New 42nd Street is a nonprofit that performs plays for a younger audience all year round. Broadway has been the musical theater capital for over a century and has proven to be the oldest active theater on Broadway. 

Cheer up!