New Century Theatre

932 Seventh Avenue / NYC

The New Century Theatre was a legitimate Broadway theatre located at 932 Seventh Avenue at West 58th Street in midtown Manhattan.

The house, which seated 1700, was designed by architect Herbert J. Krapp for the Shuberts, who originally named it Jolson's 59th Street Theatre after Al Jolson, who opened the venue with a Sigmund Romberg musical called Bombo on October 6, 1921. Two years later, it hosted the American premiere of Stanislavski's Moscow Art Theatre.

The theatre underwent several name changes over the next several years. As the Central Park Theatre, it was operated as a movie house. It then became the Shakespeare Theatre, the Molly Picon Theatre, the Venice, and twice reverted to Jolson Theatre, honoring Jolson, before finally being refurbished and reopened as the New Century on April 8, 1944.

Its place in theatrical history was established in 1937 when Orson Welles and his acting troupe marched their production of The Cradle Will Rock into the theatre and performed it from seats in the audience in defiance of Actors Equity.

In the late 40s and early 50s, NBC used the New Century for live television programs performed before a studio audience. The theatre was shuttered in 1954 and demolished in 1962.

Programs available from this theatre:

  • Up In Central Park (1945)

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