Hugh Hysell & Catherine Russell to Open New Off-Broadway Theater Complex in Early 2014
Tony Award winning Broadway Producer Hugh Hysell and Snapple Theater Center Owner/Manager, actress Catherine Russell have partnered to create a new theatre complex that will house 3 new first-class Off Broadway Theatres. This facility, presently titled The Theatre Center, will open in early 2014 at 601 Eighth Avenue (at 39th Street).
This new theatre complex will house a 249 seat theatre, a 199 seat theatre and a 99 seat theatre. The 249 and 199 seat theatres will be licensed to commercial plays and musicals and the 99 seat theatre will be licensed to Off and Off-Off Broadway productions. The space will also feature a lobby, bar as well as a restaurant (to be operated by a third party which will be announced at a later date).
Hysell and Russell note that he current temperature of the Off Broadway theater scene has been on a steady upswing for decades. Off Broadway has never been more prolific with over 150 Theater Productions (for profit and not for profit) were presented in the 2012-2013 season. The most recent economic impact report of The Off Broadway Alliance outlines Off Broadway's $535 million plus annual impact on the economy of the City of New York.
While Broadway ticket prices continue to soar, local theatergoers and tourists continue to thrive on the vibrant offerings presented in Off Broadway theaters - better seats for less money!
In opening The Theatre Center, Catherine Russell and Hugh Hysell have aimed to create a convenient, comfortable and inviting experience for the theater goer, and providing three quality new Off Broadway spaces to the theatrical landscape that will be equally as attractive and user-friendly for theater artists and producers.
As Times Square and Midtown West continue to flourish and gentrify, the demand for entertainment venues in this neighborhood has increased. Specifically, the demand for spaces of 199 seats and 249 seats is currently extremely strong.
In researching the potential need for new Off Broadway theatre spaces, Russell and Hysell discovered that the desire for available spaces was much stronger than anticipated.
Location is key, and both Russell and Hysell feel that being near Times Square in Midtown West is important to the venue's success in making The Theater Center convenient to avid theatregoers and tourists alike. The Theater Center is located steps from Times Square, one block from Port Authority, and within a 3 block radius of 11 hotels. In seeking potential spaces, producers and general managers have expressed the desire to be in Midtown.
Combined, Russell and Hysell have 47 years of experience in working in the Off Broadway theatre scene.