Jujamcyn Theaters

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The Jujamcyn Theaters /ˈæmsɪn/, formerly the Jujamcyn Amusement Corporation, is a theatrical producing and theatre-ownership company in New York City. For many years Jujamcyn was owned by James H. Binger, former Chairman of Honeywell, and his wife, Virginia McKnight Binger. The organization is now held by its President, Jordan Roth, and President Emeritus, Rocco Landesman.

The third-largest theatre owner on Broadway, behind the Shubert Organization and the Nederlander Organization, Jujamcyn owns five of the 41 Broadway district playhouses but has created a much-envied business model that has, at times, accounted for as much as one-third of the gross revenues on Broadway.

History[edit]

The St. James Theatre, 2006

William L. McKnight, former chairman of 3M, owned several theatres, two in New York and one in Boston. McKnight's daughter, Virginia McKnight Binger and her husband, James H. Binger, a top executive at Honeywell, shared a love of theatre. In 1970 when William McKnight wanted to sell his theatres, Binger stepped in to assist. He found the business fascinating, and after paying the gift tax and selling the Colonial Theatre in Boston, he and Virginia agreed to own and later expand the operation on Broadway.

Jujamcyn derives its name from the names of McKnight's grandchildren, the Bingers' children: Ju[dith], Jam[es], and Cyn[thia]. Over time Binger expanded Jujamcyn to five theatres to create the third-largest theatre-owning company on Broadway. The five Jujamcyn theatres are:

  1. St. James Theatre, (acquired in 1957 by McKnight)
  2. Al Hirschfeld Theatre, (formerly the Martin Beck Theatre, acquired in 1966 by McKnight),[1]
  3. August Wilson Theatre (acquired in 1981, formerly the Virginia Theatre)
  4. Eugene O'Neill Theatre, (acquired in 1982)
  5. Walter Kerr Theatre (formerly the Ritz Theatre, acquired in 1981),[2]

In 1987 Binger brought in Rocco Landesman to run Jujamcyn.[3] Landesman was a successful theatrical producer and was friendly with Binger from previous theatrical productions and a shared interest in racehorses.[4] Over the next 17 years, Landesman, Binger and the Jujamcyn organization would produce and house a successful string of Broadway hits. Including box office juggernaut The Producers, which won a record 12 Tony Awards in 2001.[5]

After Binger's death[edit]

Virginia Binger died in 2002, and James Binger died in 2004.

Rocco Landesman, producer and President of Jujamcyn since 1987, announced that he planned to buy Jujamcyn Theatres, telling the New York Times that he had a long-standing understanding with Binger that he would buy Jujamcyn's five playhouses. The theatres had an estimated net asset value of about $30 million.

Landesman closed the deal in February 2005 for $30M, but then tried to sell a 50% stake in the group for $50M to enable investment in the Cincinnati Reds baseball team - his group lost out to Robert Castellini.[6]

In 2009 after 22 years with Jujamcyn, Landesman was tapped by the Obama administration to take a position in Washington as Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts ("NEA"), an agency of the United States government. That year, Landesman sold a half interest in Jujamcyn to Jordan Roth, a successful 33-year-old theatrical producer who had joined the company in 2005 as resident producer and vice president. Roth assumed full control of Jujamcyn as Landesman departed for the NEA taking on the role of President.[7] From his first year, Jordan began identifying a new era of shows for the company’s theaters with his first hits including, Spring Awakening, with eight Tony Awards, Grey Gardens, with three, and his 2009 revival of Hair. [8]

In 2013, Roth bought the majority stake of Jujamcyn, making him the youngest principal owner of a Broadway theatre chain.[9] Since Roth took over, Jujamcyn theaters have been home to notable shows including Tony-award winners The Book of Mormon, Springsteen on Broadway, Kinky Boots, A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder, and Clybourne Park among many others.[10]

[11]List of theaters[edit]

Theatre Address Seats [12]
St. James Theatre 246 West 44th Street 1,701
Al Hirschfeld Theatre 302 West 45th Street 1,412
August Wilson Theatre 245 West 52nd Street 1,222
Eugene O'Neill Theatre 230 West 49th Street 1,030
Walter Kerr Theatre 218 West 48th Street 931

Former theaters[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Notes

  1. ^ "O'Neill Theater is Sold" New York Times, March 3, 1982
  2. ^ New York Times August 1, 1989, "New Face and Name for the Ritz Theater
  3. ^ "Rocco Landesman named Jujamcyn Theaters Head" New York Times, June 10, 1987
  4. ^ "How a High Roller Bets on Broadway" New York Times article, June 3, 1990
  5. ^ McKnight Foundation : About Archived 2007-03-21 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Paeth, Greg (2005-08-22). "Investor Group Has Local Links". The Cincinnati Post. E. W. Scripps Company. p. A1. Archived from the original on 2006-02-04.
  7. ^ "A New Force on Broadway" New York Times, Sept 8, 2009
  8. ^ "A New Force on Broadway" New York Times, Sept 8, 2009[verification needed]
  9. ^ Jones, Kenneth (2013-01-22). "Jordan Roth Is Now Principal Owner of Broadway's Jujamcyn Theaters". Playbill. Retrieved 2019-04-02.
  10. ^ Cox, Gordon; Cox, Gordon (2013-01-21). "Roth ups his stake in Jujamcyn". Variety. Retrieved 2019-04-02.
  11. ^ Cox, Gordon; Cox, Gordon (2013-01-21). "Roth ups his stake in Jujamcyn". Variety. Retrieved 2019-04-02.
  12. ^ Playbill.com Broadway Grosses, Dec 7, 2009
  13. ^ a b [articles.baltimoresun.com/1995-07-28/features/1995209001_1_jujamcyn-theaters-mechanic-1995-1996-season N.Y. producers expected to restore luster as pre-Broadway theater New deal can help Mechanic clean up its act]
  14. ^ a b c d Twin Cities-based show producer Jujamcyn is sold to N.Y. giant SFX
  15. ^ Royal George Theatre Getting New Owners
  16. ^ Weidner Center lays off half its staff
  17. ^ "Downtown theater season announced". Star Tribune. October 25, 1995.
  18. ^ "Opera Omaha Plans to Lure More Musicals Organization In Minneapolis Will Be Partner". Omaha World-Herald. February 6, 1995.
  19. ^ "SECOND BROADWAY SERIES APPROVED". The Oregonian. July 14, 1994.
  20. ^ "Ordway aims to expand its presence". Star Tribune. February 5, 1992.
  21. ^ "Jujamcyn says it will end link with Ordway". Star Tribune. December 31, 1994.

External links[edit]