Al Hayman, also known as Raphael Hayman, (1847 – February 10, 1917) was the business partner of the better-known Charles Frohman who together with others established the Theatrical Syndicate. In addition to the financial backing, ownership and construction of new theaters and the early monopolisation of the booking networks, the Syndicate also produced a number of Broadway shows.
Al Hayman was born in Wheeling, West Virginia. He began his theatrical career as a manager for a tour of The Black Crook in 1871. In 1883 Hayman travelled to San Francisco and, leasing the Baldwin Theatre, became its producing manager, becoming a well-known manager. Around 1989 he moved to New York and bought the play Shenandoah with Charles Frohman. He also gained control of a theatre in Chicago, starting the wide ownership of theatres. In 1896 he, along with Frohman, Marc Klaw, A.L. Erlanger, Samuel Nixon and J. Fred Zimmerman, Sr. established the Theatrical Syndicate. This group established systemized booking networks throughout the United States and created a monopoly that controlled every aspect of contracts and bookings until the late 1910s when the Shubert brothers broke their hold on the industry. Hayman concentrated on investments in real estate.
As theater impresarios and booking agents he helped develop the theater district in New York City at the turn of the 20th century. Hayman owned and/or operated several theatres in New York, such as the Knickerbocker Theatre and the Empire Theatre
- Bordman, Gerald and Hischak, Thomas."Al Hayman" The Oxford Companion to American Theatre, 2004, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-516986-7, p.298
- "Al Hayman Quits Theatrical Field" The New York Times, August 11, 1911
- "Knickerbocker Theatre history" ibdb.com, accessed December 4, 2011
- "Empire Theatre History" ibdb.com, accessed December 4, 2011
- Al Hayman Dies Suddenly", The New York Times, February 10, 1917, p. 9
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