Walter Kerr Theatre

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Walter Kerr Theatre
Ritz Theatre
Walter Kerr Theatre NYC 2006 Grey Gardens.jpg
The marquee of the Walter Kerr Theatre in 2006
Address 219 West 48th Street
Manhattan, New York City
Coordinates 40°45′38″N 73°59′08″W / 40.760638°N 73.985605°W / 40.760638; -73.985605Coordinates: 40°45′38″N 73°59′08″W / 40.760638°N 73.985605°W / 40.760638; -73.985605
Owner Jujamcyn Theaters
Type Broadway theatre
Capacity 975
Production Springsteen on Broadway
Opened 1929
Reopened 1990

The Walter Kerr Theatre is a Broadway theatre. Located at 219 West 48th Street, it is owned and operated by Jujamcyn Theaters.[1] One of the smaller auditoriums in the Theater District, it seats 975. Designed by Herbert J. Krapp for the Shubert family, it operated as the Ritz Theatre from 1921 to 1990, when it was renamed for playwright and critic Walter Kerr.


The Federal Theatre Project's Living Newspaper production, Power (February–August 1937)

The Shubert family engaged Herbert J. Krapp to design their Ritz Theatre in 1921. ABC operated it as a radio and then television studio between 1943 and 1965. The Shuberts sold the theatre to John Minary in 1956, who sold it to Joseph P. Blitz later that year.[2][3] In 1963, a partnership including Roger Euster acquired the property; in 1964 Euster sold his stake to Leonard B. Moore.[4][5] It remained vacant from 1965 to 1971, when it reopened with the musical Soon, book by Martin Duberman, which closed after three performances. It housed a number of productions in the next two years and even screened adult films for a period before it became a children's theater named in honor of Robert F. Kennedy in 1973.[6][7][8] Jujamcyn acquired the property in 1980.[9] The last production staged at the Ritz was Chu Chem. On March 5, 1990, the theatre reopened after a $2 million restoration now renamed for theater critic Walter Kerr with August Wilson's The Piano Lesson.[10] Since then it has housed seven winners of the Tony Award for Best Play: Angels in America: Millennium Approaches, Angels in America: Perestroika, Love! Valour! Compassion!, Proof, Take Me Out, Doubt, and Clybourne Park. It also housed one winner of the Tony Award for Best Musical: A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder.

In October 2017, Bruce Springsteen, who had the highest grossing tour in the world in 2016, will take up residency at the theatre for an eight-week run where he will perform five times a week. The performances will be a pared-down version of his set that he would normally perform in arenas and stadiums. The performances are expected to begin in November. Springsteen liked the idea of performing for more intimate crowds and the idea of performing on Broadway.[11] The run was originally expected to conclude on November 26, 2017; however, due to scalper issues and a high demand for tickets, Springsteen announced he will extend the run until February 3, 2018.[12]

Notable productions[edit]

Box office record[edit]

A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder holds the box office record for the Walter Kerr Theatre. The production grossed $1,062,740 over eight performances, for the week ending December 28, 2014.[13]


  1. ^ Jujamcyn Theaters
  2. ^ Zolotow, Sam (July 18, 1956). "Ritz Theatre Sold". The New York Times. Retrieved May 8, 2014. 
  3. ^ "48th St. Theatre Sold to Investor". The New York Times. December 21, 1956. Retrieved May 8, 2014. 
  4. ^ "Theater Building on 48th St. Sold". The New York Times. April 5, 1963. Retrieved May 8, 2014. 
  5. ^ "The Little Theater Changes Ownership". The New York Times. June 4, 1964. Retrieved May 8, 2014. 
  6. ^ Calta, Louis (February 17, 1972). "Ritz Theater Makes Broadway Return". The New York Times. Retrieved May 8, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Doctor in the House Changes Character". The New York Times. September 20, 1973. Retrieved May 8, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Metropolitan Briefs: Kennedy Theater Evicted". The New York Times. May 5, 1976. Retrieved May 8, 2014. 
  9. ^ Blau, Eleanor (November 19, 1981). "Ritz Theater to Return as a Broadway House". The New York Times. Retrieved May 8, 2014. 
  10. ^ Rothstein, Mervyn (March 6, 1990). "Broadway Musical Tribute To the Critic Walter Kerr". The New York Times. Retrieved May 8, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Bruce Springsteen heads to Broadway this fall". New York Post. June 16, 2017. Retrieved September 16, 2017. 
  12. ^ Ticketmaster on Twitter: "#SpringsteenBroadway has been EXTENDED! More information coming today. There will NOT be any additional codes released for today's onsale."
  13. ^ "Broadway Grosses-A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC: 2010". 

External links[edit]