David H. Koch Theater
The David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center, seen from the Lincoln Center Plaza.
|Address||20 Lincoln Center Plaza|
|Location||New York City|
|Opened||April 23, 1964|
|Owner||City of New York|
|Former name(s)||New York State Theater|
The David H. Koch Theater is a theater for ballet, modern and other forms of dance, part of the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts located at the intersection of Columbus Avenue and 63rd Street in New York City, United States. Originally named the New York State Theater, the house has been home to the New York City Ballet since its opening in 1964. It also served as home to the New York City Opera from 1964 to 2011. The theater occupies the south side of the main plaza of Lincoln Center, opposite Avery Fisher Hall.
The New York State Theater was built with funds from the State of New York as part of New York State's cultural participation in the 1964–1965 World's Fair. The theater was designed by architect Philip Johnson and opened on April 23, 1964. After the Fair, the State transferred ownership of the theater to the City of New York.
The City leases the theater to Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Inc., which then has a sublease with City Center of Music and Drama, Inc. (CCMD). The present corporation of CCMD (separate and apart from New York City Center on 55th Street) continues to manage the theater today.
Along with the opera and ballet, an early tenant of the theater was the now defunct Music Theater of Lincoln Center. Richard Rodgers was its president, and during his tenure many classic Broadway musicals were revived there in the 1960s. Among them were The King and I, Carousel (with its original star, John Raitt), Annie Get Your Gun (with its original star, Ethel Merman), Show Boat, and South Pacific.
In July 2008, oil-and-gas billionaire David H. Koch pledged to provide $100 million over the next 10 years for the purpose of renovating the theater and providing for an operating and maintenance endowment. It was renamed the David H. Koch Theater at the New York City Ballet Winter gala, Tuesday, November 25, of that year.  The theater is to bear his name for at least fifty years, after which it may be renamed; the Koch family retains the right of first refusal for any renaming.
Building features and renovation 
The theater seats 2,586 and features broad seating on the orchestra level, four main “Rings” (balconies) and a small Fifth Ring, faced with jewel-like lights and a large spherical chandelier in the center of the gold latticed ceiling.
During the renovation, all the seats and carpeting were replaced and the stage lighting system was completely updated. Two center aisles were introduced into the orchestra seating level, which was formerly a continental seating arrangement, with no center aisle. The restrooms have been renovated and are all ADA compliant. The orchestra pit has been expanded. The pit floor also features mechanical lifts so that it can be brought up to stage level for music concerts and other activities. The renovations were designed by JCJ Architecture of New York City with Schuler Shook as theater consultants.
Promenade with Elie Nadelman sculpture (reproduction).
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: David H. Koch Theater|
- Lincoln Center press release, July 9, 2008
- David H. Koch Theater website
- New York City Ballet website
- JCJ Architecture, architects for 2009 renovation.
- New York City Opera press release, undated
- New York Times article by Robin Pogrebin, July 10, 2008