Hudson Theatre

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Hudson Theatre
Hudson Theatre NYC 2003.jpg
The Hudson Theatre in 2003.
Address 139-141 West 44th Street
New York City
United States
Owner Millennium & Copthorne Hotels
Operator Ambassador Theatre Group
Capacity 700
Current use conference center
Construction
Opened 1903
Architect J.B. McElfatrick & Son; Israels & Harder
Website
http://www.thehudsonbroadway.com
The Hudson Theatre on a 1910s trading card.

The Hudson Theatre is a Broadway theater located at 139-141 West 44th Street,[1]:1 between Times Square and 6th Avenue, New York City. Currently operating as a conference center and television studio, the theater is owned by Millennium & Copthorne Hotels. In December 2015, it was announced that Hudson Theatre LLC had signed a long term lease on the theater. A subsidisary of the UK-based Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG), the company plans to invest in a multimillion-dollar refurbishment of the venue, bringing it back into full-time use as a playhouse, primarily for transfers of work from the West End of London.[2]

History

The architectural firm of J. B. McElfatrick & Son made initial drawings for the Hudson Theatre in 1902, but the firm of Israels & Harder took the project over by 1903.[1]:9 When the Hudson opened, on October 19 of that year with Ethel Barrymore starring in Cousin Kate, it had a number of distinctive architectural features, including an unusually large foyer, a triple-domed ceiling, and a system of diffused lighting.[3][4][5] Built by theatrical producer Henry B. Harris, his wife managed the theatre after his death on the RMS Titanic.

From the 1930s through the 1950s the theater served as a radio and television studio, originally as a CBS Radio Playhouse from 1937 to 1950, until NBC purchased it in 1950. In 1954, it became home to The Tonight Show with host Steve Allen.

Developer Abraham Hirschfeld purchased the structure in 1956, and after returning it to use as a legitimate theater in the 1960s, he converted it to a movie house in 1974. Finally, in 1980 it became the Savoy rock club.[1]:14–5 In 1987, the building received landmark status.[1]:1,18

When owner Henry Macklowe developed the surrounding lots into a new luxury hotel, he incorporated the landmarked theater, using it as a conference center and auditorium.[6] Millennium & Copthorne Hotels bought the hotel and the Hudson in 1995. Currently, the Hudson Theatre is used as a conference and party space for the Millennium Broadway Hotel. It is also the site of stand-up comedy shows taped for broadcast on the Comedy Central cable network.

In 2015 it was announced that the British-based Ambassador Theatre Group would assume management of the Hudson from the hotel and convert it back into a legitimate Broadway theater.[7] The Hudson is planned to be open and ready in time for the 2016–17 season. When it reopens, the Hudson will become the 41st operating theater on Broadway and also the oldest, having originally opened slightly earlier in 1903 than the Lyceum and New Amsterdam Theatres.[8]

Notable productions

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Hudson Theater Designation Report (PDF). New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. November 17, 1987.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Snow, Georgia (December 16, 2015). "ATG secures second Broadway theatre with reopening of historic Hudson".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "The New Hudson Theatre". The New York Times. October 18, 1903.
  4. "Miss Ethel Barrymore in Cousin Kate". The New York Times. October 20, 1903.
  5. "The Hudson Theatre". Architects' and Builders' Magazine. Vol. 36 No. 5 (February 1904). p. 200. Online at HathiTrust.
  6. "Hudson Theatre". Internet Broadway Database website. Archived March 2, 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  7. Riedel, Michael (March 11, 2015). "Broadway's newest landlord is a colorful, 'Mormon'-loving Brit". New York Post.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. Viagas, Robert. "Hudson Theatre Will Be Reopened as Broadway House" Playbill, December 16, 2015.

External links

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