The Theater at Madison Square Garden
|Former names||Felt Forum (1968-89)
Paramount Theater (1991-97)
Theater at Madison Square Garden (1997-2007; 2009-Present)
WaMu Theater (2007-09)
|Address||4 Pennsylvania Plaza
New York City, New York 10001
|Owner||The Madison Square Garden Company|
|Opened||14 February 1968|
|Architect||Charles Luckman Associates|
|Services engineer||Syska Hennessy|
|General contractor||Turner Construction and Del E. Webb Construction Company|
The Theater at Madison Square Garden (originally called the Felt Forum) is a theater located in New York City's Madison Square Garden. It seats between 2,000 and 5,600 for concerts and can also be used for meetings, stage shows and graduation ceremonies. No seat is more than 177 feet (54 m) from the 30' × 64' stage. The theatre has a relatively low 20-foot (6.1 m) ceiling at stage level and all of its seating except for boxes on the two side walls is on one level slanted back from the stage. There is an 8,000-square-foot (740 m2) lobby at the theater.
When the Garden opened in 1968, the theater was known as the Felt Forum, in honor of then-president Irving M. Felt. In the early 1990s, at the behest of then-owner Paramount Communications, the theater was renamed the Paramount Theater after the Paramount Theatre in Times Square had been converted to an office tower. The theater received its next name, The Theater at Madison Square Garden, in the mid-90s, after Viacom bought Paramount and sold the MSG properties. In 2007, the theater was renamed the WaMu Theater at Madison Square Garden, due to a naming rights deal with Washington Mutual (now JPMorgan Chase). After Washington Mutual's failure in 2009, the name reverted to The Theater at Madison Square Garden.
It was the home of the NFL draft until 2005, when it moved to the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center after MSG management opposed a new stadium for the New York Jets. It also hosted the NBA draft from 2001 to 2010. The theater also occasionally hosts boxing matches on nights when the main arena is unavailable. The fall 1999 Jeopardy! Teen Tournament as well as a Celebrity Jeopardy! competition were held at the theater. Wheel of Fortune did tapings at the theater twice in 1999 and 2013. In 2004, it was the venue of the Survivor: All-Stars finale.
- "Wintuk created exclusively for Wamu Theater at Madison Square Garden", cirquedusoleil.com, November 7, 2007
- Blair; William G. (January 27, 1989). "Garden to Close The Felt Forum For Two Years". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved July 18, 2014.
- Holden, Stephen (September 11, 1991). "New Paramount Theater to Give Radio City a Run for Its Music". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved July 18, 2014.
- WaMu Theaters name likely to change due to financial crisis