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14 Midtown Theatres not to miss

14 midtown theatres in new york

When you travel, do like to take in a play, some local theatre, maybe a Broadway show? Well, you’re headed to the theatre capital of the world! There are over 50 theatres in Midtown Manhattan!

In our research to develop a Tourist Scavenger Hunt in New York Midtown, we’ve come across much information, some of which can only be gleaned when doing the actual scavenger hunt.

However, we also wanted to share some of that information with you for your visit planning. Here are 14 theatres to see in New York Midtown.

14 Midtown Theatres you should see

  1. Winter Garden Theatre
    • Built-in 1896 as a horse exchange, its converted into a theatre occurred in 1911. It is located on Broadway at W 51st It is the only Broadway theatre to have a runway extending from the stage into the audience. It was remodeled in 1922 and again in 1982.
  2. Lyceum Theatre.
    • On W 45th east of Broadway, this 1903 theatre is the oldest operating theatre along with the New Amsterdam. It has a Beaux-Arts façade with 6 Corinthian columns.
  3. New Amsterdam Theatre
    • Located on W 42nd at 7th Ave, this 1903 theatre is the oldest operating theatre along with the Lyceum Theatre. As with many other theatres, the New Amsterdam is rumored to be haunted. Its beaux-arts exterior leads into an art-nouveau interior. Art-nouveau features fruits, flowers, and vines.
    • Disney now owns this theatre.
  4. Belasco Theatre
    • Located on W 44th at Broadway, the Belasco Theater opened in 1907, commissioned by Broadway producer David Belasco. This theater’s mission is to put on living room plays where the audience is as close as possible to the actors.
  5. Helen Hayes Theatre
    • This theatre opened as the Little Theatre in 1912 but changed its name in 1983. In 1983, the Hayes, Morsosco and Bijou theatres disappeared, making way for the Marriott Marquis hotel on W.44th
    • Helen Hayes, known as the first lady of American Theatre, started her career at 5 years old and earning Tony, Oscar, Emmy and Grammy awards. This red brick building has a colonial style interior you’d expect to find in Boston and Philadelphia.
    • This theatre also served as a TV studio in the ‘50s and ‘60s for Dick Clark, Merv Griffin, and David Frost.
  6. Shubert Theatre
    • On W 44th west of 7th Ave, this theatre, designed along with the Booth Theatre as back-to-back theatres, opened in 1913. Both have Venetian-Renaissance façades.
  7. Booth Theatre
    • On W 45th west of Broadway, this theatre, designed along with the Shubert Theatre as back-to-back theatres, opened in 1913. Both have Venetian-Renaissance façades. Its name honors the 19th-century actor Edwin Booth, brother of President Lincoln’s assassin John Wilkes Booth.
  8. Palace TheatrePalace Theatre
    • On Broadway between W 46th and W 47th
    • This theatre opened in 1913 and was the most famous vaudeville theater in the United States. Every performer dreamed of playing at the palace. If you landed a gig at the Palace Theatre, you could say you finally “made it.”
    • The ‘Who’s Who’ list of celebrities who have performed on the Palace stage, including Harry Houdini, Ethel Merman, Judy Garland, Jerry Lewis, Harry Belafonte, Bette Midler, Shirley MacLaine and Diana Ross.
    • A DoubleTree hotel above it appeared in the 1980s. Most of the grand theatre hides behind the numerous billboards.
  9. Music Box Theatre
    • On W 45th west of Broadway, built in 1921 specifically to house musical revues by Irving Berlin, in the neo-Georgian style. It resembles a large manor house with a colonnade.
  10. Al Hirschfeld Theatre
    • This theatre built in 1924 by Martin Beck in a Byzantine style with Moorish arches along the façade. It is located on W. 45th
    • Martin Beckis gave Harry Houdini his big break. Originally named for Beck, the renaming in 2003 honors the legendary New York Times caricaturist Al Hirschfeld.
  11. Richard Rodgers Theatre
    • Originally named the 46th Street Theatre, it stands on W 46th St. It has hosted a large number of Tony-winning plays and musicals over the years. It was renamed in 1990 after the legendary composer.
  12. Radio City Music Hall
    • This entertainment venue is part of the Rockefeller Center in Midtown Manhattan. It is nicknamed the Showplace of the Nation. Radio City Music Hall became a New York City Landmark in May 1978. Originally designed by Edward Durell Stone and Donald Deskey in the Art Deco style, it opened in August 1932.
    • The Rockettes who put on a Christmas Spectacular here every year have been doing so since November 1932!
  13. Minskoff Theatre
    • On W 45th west of Broadway. This theatre opened in 1973.
    • Just outside the entrance to this theater hosting the Lion King, is the site of the failed Times Square bombing attempt. In 2010, 2 street vendors noticed smoke coming from an SUV filled with a crude propane bomb and called the police, who performed a controlled detonation of the bomb.
  14. New VictoryThe New Victory Theatre
    • Located on W 42nd at 7th Ave, this theatre opened in 1900 and has changed names many times over the years: Theatre Republic (1900), Belasco Theatre (1902), Republic Theatre (1910), Minsky’s Burlesque (1931), and The Victory (1942).
    • In 1990, both the New York City and the State of New York took possession of the Victory. It was renamed the New Victory Theatre in 1992.
    • The New Victory Theatre is the first and only full-time performing arts theater for kids and families. Performances are appropriate for kids 1 1/2 years old and up to 12 years old.
    • On W 48th west of Broadway

There are at least 40 other theatres to check out in Midtown, around Broadway.

Tourist Scavenger Hunts

We invite you to try our Tourist Scavenger Hunt in New York Midtown. It is a 2.5-hour guided walking tour throughout Midtown Manhattan from Grand Central Terminal to Times Square, Rockefeller Center, and everything in between. You do it on your mobile phone (how it works).  It only costs $30 for your group (1 to 6 people). Moreover, you will enjoy seeing these theatres and much more while completing challenges and learning about Midtown’s history.

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