Olympia Theatre (New York City)

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Olympia Theatre
OlympiaNY.png
Drawing of the Olympia from The New York Times
Address 1514-16 Broadway
City New York City
Country United States
Architect J. B. McElfatrick & Son
Type Broadway
Opened 1895
Years active 1890-1935; 1989-1999
Rebuilt 1935
Other names Hammerstein's Olympia, New York Theatre, Loew's New York, Criterion Theatre, Criterion Center Stage Right
Current use restaurant

The Olympia Theatre (1514-16 Broadway at 44th Street), also known as Hammerstein's Olympia, was a theatre complex built by impresario Oscar Hammerstein I in Longacre Square (later Times Square), New York City, opening in 1895. It consisted of a theatre, a music hall, a concert hall, and a roof garden. It was later named the New York Theatre and Loew's New York.

History[edit]

According to The New York Times, Olympia was a "massive gray stone building", and extended 203 feet (62 m) on Longacre Square, 104 feet (32 m) on 45th Street, and 101 feet (31 m) on 44th Street. It was made from Indiana limestone, featured an imposing façade, and followed French Renaissance designs. It was designed by J. B. McElfatrick & Son.[1]

The building was opened on November 25, 1895 with over 30 performers from Europe appearing. It was the second theater to open in what is now known as the Theater District. The first was the Empire Theatre, on the Southeast corner of 40th Street and Broadway. The Olympia was later named the New York Theatre and Loew's New York.

In 1935, architects Thomas W. Lamb and Eugene DeRosa redesigned the site. Historic sources are unclear as to whether some or all buildings in the complex were demolished and rebuilt, or the shells gutted and remodeled to build a nightclub/dancehall, the International Casino, and the Criterion movie theatre.[1]

In 1989, the Criterion was renovated and opened as a Broadway theatre, the Criterion Center Stage Right. Its inaugural productions were Starmites, Mastergate and Stand-Up Tragedy. For the 1991-92 season, the Roundabout Theatre Company took over the location for its Broadway productions.

List of Roundabout productions at the Criterion Center Stage Right[edit]

After eight seasons, Roundabout was evicted, but stayed on Broadway with the American Airlines Theatre. The property became a large flagship Toys 'R' Us store.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Morrison, William (1999). Broadway Theatres: History and Architecture (trade paperback). Dover Books on Architecture. Mineola, New York: Dover Publications. pp. 24–26. ISBN 0-486-40244-4. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°45′27″N 73°59′09″W / 40.75738°N 73.98570°W / 40.75738; -73.98570