New Century Theatre
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|Jolson's 59th Street Theatre (1921–31)
Central Park Theatre (1931)
Shakespeare Theatre (1932–34)
Venice Theatre (1934–42)
Jolson's 59th Street Theatre (1942)
Molly Picon Theatre (1943)
Jolson's 59th Street Theatre (1943)
New Century Theatre (1944–54)
|Address||932 Seventh Avenue
New York City
|Opened||6 October 1921|
|Architect||Herbert J. Krapp|
The house, which seated 1700, was designed by architect Herbert J. Krapp for the Shuberts, who originally named it Jolson's 59th Street Theatre after Al Jolson, who opened the venue with a Sigmund Romberg musical called Bombo on October 6, 1921. Two years later, it hosted the American premiere of Stanislavski's Moscow Art Theatre.
The theatre underwent several name changes over the next several years. As the Central Park Theatre, it was operated as a movie house. It then became the Shakespeare Theatre, the Molly Picon Theatre, the Venice Theatre, and twice reverted to Jolson Theatre, honoring Jolson, before finally being refurbished and reopened as the New Century on April 8, 1944.
Its place in theatrical history was established in 1937 when Orson Welles and his Federal Theatre Project troupe marched their production of The Cradle Will Rock into what was then called the Venice Theatre and performed the musical from seats in the audience in defiance of Actors Equity.
In the late 40s and early 50s, NBC used the New Century for live television programs performed before a studio audience. The theatre was shuttered in 1954 and demolished in 1962.
- 1923: Three Sisters; The Cherry Orchard; Irene
- 1924: The Student Prince
- 1929: Naughty Marietta
- 1932: A Midsummer Night's Dream
- 1937: The Cradle Will Rock
- 1944: Follow the Girls
- 1947: High Button Shoes
- 1948: Kiss Me, Kate
- 1950: Out of This World by Cole Porter
- 1951: Jose Greco Ballet
- 1953: Carnival in Flanders