National Comedy Theatre
National Comedy Theatre was founded in January 2000 by several owners of ComedySportz franchises.
In July 2000, the name was extended to an association of theaters across the United States, including locations in San Jose, Kansas City, Indianapolis, San Diego, New York and Austin, Texas. In some cities, the NCT name serves as a stamp of approval, and in some cities, such as San Diego, New York and Phoenix, the theatres carry the National Comedy Theatre name.
In Los Angeles, National Comedy Theatre is located at 733 Seward Street in Hollywood and serves as the home of ComedySportz Los Angeles. It was built in the 1920s, and through the years, the theatre was both a bakery and later a photographer's studio. It was converted into a theatre in 1977 by Paul Kent and Jomarie Ward, and produced plays and musicals as the Melrose Theatre for two decades. In the late 1990s, the theatre was known as the HBO Workspace, a famous showcase stage, where comedy acts could audition for the HBO U.S. Comedy Arts Festival. In 2000, the theatre was jointly managed by HBO and Warner Brothers Television (then called the HBO Warner Brothers Television Workspace), where they also developed material for television. The show also has the distinction of being the longest running show in Los Angeles. The Los Angeles theatre also hosts several other shows throughout the week including a live late night style talk show, as well as variety shows.
The National Comedy Theatre of San Diego is located at 3717 India Street in Mission Hills. The theatre is nestled next to the Shakespeare's Pub and Grille. The San Diego company also won "Best Live Comedy" from local station KGTV's "A-List" competition in 2007, '08,'10, '11, '12 & '13. In 2009, the theatre celebrated its 10-year anniversary. To celebrate, the San Diego City Council declared October 9, 2009 "National Comedy Theatre Day". The San Diego theatre also holds monthly college shows and 16+ blue shows, as well as showcase nights on Thursday and Sunday. NCT's mainstage company show is also the longest running show in San Diego history with over 4000 performances as of March, 2014.
The success of the San Diego's franchise led directly to the opening of the New York branch, which was started under the same management. In New York, National Comedy Theatre is located at 347 West 36th Street.
The Phoenix branch is the newest National Comedy Theatre, and was opened by former San Diego director Dorian Lenz. It recently won the distinction of "Best Theatre Company" from the local newspaper.
Spindle, L. "Readers' Choice Awards: Favorite Rehearsal/Rental Space", Back Stage West, May 10-16, 2007