The Theater at Madison Square Garden

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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
Location Manhattan
Owner The Madison Square Garden Company
Operator MSG Entertainment
Capacity 5,500
Opened February 14, 1968 (1968-02-14)
Renovated 1989-91, 2011-13
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[1] 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 Mitchell Felt.[2] 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.[3] 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.[4]


On 8 December 1991 the draw for the preliminary competition of the 1994 FIFA World Cup in the USA was held there.

It was the home of the NFL draft from 1995 until 2004. In 2005 the NFL Draft 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.

The first ever mixed martial arts event scheduled to be held at the theater was World Series of Fighting 34: Gaethje vs. Firmino.


In January 2016, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a redevelopment plan for Penn Station that would involve the removal of The Theater at Madison Square Garden.[5][6]


  1. ^ "Wintuk created exclusively for Wamu Theater at Madison Square Garden",, November 7, 2007
  2. ^ 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. 
  3. ^ 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. 
  4. ^ WaMu Theaters name likely to change due to financial crisis
  5. ^ Higgs, Larry (January 6, 2016). "Gov. Cuomo unveils grand plan to rebuild N.Y. Penn Station". The Star-Ledger. Retrieved 6 January 2016. 
  6. ^ "6th Proposal of Governor Cuomo's 2016 Agenda: Transform Penn Station and Farley Post Office Building Into a World-Class Transportation Hub". Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. Retrieved 7 January 2016. 

Coordinates: 40°45′02″N 73°59′37″W / 40.750630°N 73.993744°W / 40.750630; -73.993744

Preceded by
New York Marriott Marquis
Venues of the
NFL Draft

Succeeded by
Jacob K. Javits Convention Center