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Theatre Interiors/Architecture

LFazin
Understudy
joined:9/22/10
Theatre Interiors/Architecture
Posted: 6/23/11 at 07:16pm
I know there have been many threads in the past about favorite theatres and worst theatres, as far as memories, legroom/coziness, show curtains, etc. But what I love, arguably just as much as seeing a Broadway show, is viewing the immense history and architecture inside the actual theatre. What's your favorite/most memorable?

For me, NOTHING compares to the Al Hirschfeld Theatre. The lobby alone is so breathtaking!! But I also love the Shubert, the Palace, the Majestic, and the Broadway...just to name a few. So beautiful!

Some pictures:

Al Hirschfeld Lobby:

[IMG]

Shubert:

[IMG]

Palace:

[IMG]

Majestic:

[IMG]

Broadway:

[IMG]
Updated On: 11/27/11 at 07:16 PM
bwayphreak234 Profile Photo
bwayphreak234
Broadway Legend
joined:7/4/10
Theatre Interiors/Architecture
Posted: 6/23/11 at 07:38pm
I LOVE theatre architecture. Does anyone know of a web site with pictures of the lobbies and theatres themselves?
"There’s nothing quite like the power and the passion of Broadway music. "
LegallyBroadway2
Broadway Star
joined:8/19/10
Theatre Interiors/Architecture
Posted: 6/23/11 at 07:54pm
I am constantly searching for pictures and the like, but they are rare.

The shubert archive book or gorgeous, beautiful close up photos of theatre details. Stunning.

I love to look at this: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/04/30/theater/stages.html
bwayphreak234 Profile Photo
bwayphreak234
Broadway Legend
joined:7/4/10
Theatre Interiors/Architecture
Posted: 6/23/11 at 08:03pm
^ I have already discovered that. I wish they would do a virtual tour of every theatre on Broadway. I have that Shubert archive book. My dad brought it back from one of his quick business trips to New York. It is one of my favorite Broadway items I own. Such a gorgeous book.
"There’s nothing quite like the power and the passion of Broadway music. "
Jay Lerner-Z Profile Photo
Jay Lerner-Z
Broadway Legend
joined:4/4/11
Theatre Interiors/Architecture
Posted: 6/23/11 at 08:12pm
I agree - I love architecture in general, but especially theatres! I would love a big glossy Taschen book full of pics/stats from all over the world...the West End, Broadway, USA, Australia. If I was in publishing it'd be near the top of my list!

Not to mention all the gorgeous theatres of yesteryear...that picture that PalJoey posted over in the Follies thread of Gloria Swanson in the ruins of the Roxy was so incredible.
Updated On: 6/23/11 at 08:12 PM
LFazin
Understudy
joined:9/22/10
Theatre Interiors/Architecture
Posted: 6/23/11 at 08:13pm
LegallyBroadway2: Thanks so much for posting that link! I can't believe I never came across it before, but wow -- amazing!!

bwayphreak234: Theatre architecture absolutely fascinates me too. I would especially love the NYT to post a virtual tour of the Al Hirschfeld. Or like you said, ALL of the theatres!
KirbyCat Profile Photo
KirbyCat
Broadway Legend
joined:4/23/08
Theatre Interiors/Architecture
Posted: 6/23/11 at 09:06pm
My all time favorite to this day is the New Amsterdam Theater. It's beyond stunning.
Every single time I'm in there, I make it a point to get there early just so I can walk around, explore, and really just simply enjoy how magnificent everything is in there.
chewy5000 Profile Photo
chewy5000
Broadway Legend
joined:12/1/09
Theatre Interiors/Architecture
Posted: 6/23/11 at 10:14pm
The Belasco is wonderfull. There were some wonderfull photos in a magazine after its recent refurbishment.

Call me crazy, but does anyone have any photos of the interior of the Marquis?
IMHO I see Queenie as being more of a brunette...
bwayphreak234 Profile Photo
bwayphreak234
Broadway Legend
joined:7/4/10
Theatre Interiors/Architecture
Posted: 6/23/11 at 10:18pm
chewy- I am also very interested in the interior of the Marquis! Especially the lobby with the spiral staircases. There are literally no photos online of the Marquis.
"There’s nothing quite like the power and the passion of Broadway music. "
egghumor Profile Photo
egghumor
Broadway Legend
joined:3/9/11
Theatre Interiors/Architecture
Posted: 6/23/11 at 10:21pm
In addition to the glorious theatres previously mentioned, I have a particular fondness for the Lyceum, Belasco, and the Brooks Atkinson (among most others with the exception of the Minskoff, Marquis, and Gershwin).

For those of you that have expressed a strong interest in this subject, I highly recommend the picture book LOST BROADWAY THEATRES by Nicholas Von Hoogstraten, published in 1997 by Harvard Architectural Press.
LFazin
Understudy
joined:9/22/10
Theatre Interiors/Architecture
Posted: 6/23/11 at 10:44pm
Al Hirschfeld lobby: http://tinypic.com/r/2qktmp5/7

Winter Garden ceiling: http://tinypic.com/r/2vseq1w/7
Smaxie Profile Photo
Smaxie
Broadway Legend
joined:9/26/05
Theatre Interiors/Architecture
Posted: 6/24/11 at 12:30am
I'm surprised to see the Lunt-Fontanne included in a list of distinguished interiors. The interior was completely stripped and revamped in the 1950s at the time the theatre was renamed for Lunt-Fontanne (it was originally the Globe). For years, it was a very kitschy looking space, with murals of cherubs flying around and a shade of powder blue and those bizarre metal palm trees in the mezzanine lobby. It then was painted milk of magnesia blue for The Best Little Whorehouse Goes Public and stayed that way until it got its current paint job when Beauty and the Beast moved there in 1999. While it looks better now than it did, it was a much more traditional and distinguished looking theatre when it originally opened (see below):

Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end: then stop.
LegallyBroadway2
Broadway Star
joined:8/19/10
Theatre Interiors/Architecture
Posted: 6/24/11 at 12:58am
woah- its so different now.

It is the least favorite broadway theatre I've been in. Something about it. . . just so unappealing.

I just looked at Lost Broadway Theaters on amazon, and WOW. . I am buying this asap.

Literally no Marquis photos anywhere that I can find.
chewy5000 Profile Photo
chewy5000
Broadway Legend
joined:12/1/09
Theatre Interiors/Architecture
Posted: 6/24/11 at 01:07am
I'd also like to see photos of the Gershwin pre-Wicked to be able to gauge its size
IMHO I see Queenie as being more of a brunette...
bwayphreak234 Profile Photo
bwayphreak234
Broadway Legend
joined:7/4/10
Theatre Interiors/Architecture
Posted: 6/24/11 at 02:15am
Does the Lunt Fontane still have both s balcony and a mezzanine?
"There’s nothing quite like the power and the passion of Broadway music. "
alterego Profile Photo
alterego
Broadway Legend
joined:6/5/03
Theatre Interiors/Architecture
Posted: 6/24/11 at 03:36am
Here is book that is well worth chasing up -

LOST BROADWAY THEATRES by Nicholas Van Hoogstraten.

Photos and history of Broadway Theatres that have been demolished.
Smaxie Profile Photo
Smaxie
Broadway Legend
joined:9/26/05
Theatre Interiors/Architecture
Posted: 6/24/11 at 07:36am
They eliminated the balcony at the Lunt-Fontanne when it was revamped in the 1950s.

Regarding the Gershwin, the theatre has looked the same for years. The interior used to be off white and gold, but was painted its current dark color sometime in the 90s. It actually helped make the theatre feel a bit less vast and cavernous. It used to be worse in there.

As for the horrendous, contemptible, indefensible, undesirable, irredeemable Marquis, I found this shot that shows a bit of its vile interior.

EDIT: I removed the image as the photo is too huge and was distorting the thread. But you can find it here:

http://picasaweb.google.com/wegcdiniz/NewYork2010#5515111451314505154
Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end: then stop.
Updated On: 6/24/11 at 07:36 AM
Gypsy9 Profile Photo
Gypsy9
Broadway Legend
joined:5/27/06
Theatre Interiors/Architecture
Posted: 6/24/11 at 09:05am
Some thoughts on a few of the theaters mentioned above:
The Lunt Fontanne (formerly the Globe ) was totally gutted and rebuilt in the late 1950's. Its powder blue ceiling with cherubs was attractive when it first re-opened in 1958 with THE VISIT starring Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne, appropriately. Its second show was the musical GOLDILOCKS, starring Elaine StrItch and Don Ameche. Although it was a flop, it is very likable and still available on Amazon.com. The legendary Lehman Engel was the pit conductor for that show and prior to rehearsals he discovered that the orchestra pit was woefully too small. Construction workers had to dig out an area partly under the stage to allow for a decent sized pit. An unusual feature of the new Lunt-FOntanne was the dichotomy of it's orchestra section; the first several rows were referred to as "Divan Seats " which were like overstuffed armchairs, costing $9.40 at the time that GOLDILOCKS played there in 1958. The rest of the orchestra section were ordinary seats going for $8.05. That dichotomy has long since vanished, with the entire very long orchestra section going for one price.

The Broadway Theatre was refurbished just prior to the opening of the original production of GYPSY. An unusual feature were very tall faux "windows" on both sides of the orchestra seating section. When audiences entered the theatre, these "windows" had their drapes drawn back and the "windows" were lit. As the lights dimmed just prior to the overture, the "window" lights went off and the drapes closed! Just when this weird arrangement was scuttled I don't remember.

Smaxie, good for you for "giving it to them" in your description of the Marquis theatre. As so many of you know, the beautiful Helen Hayes Theatre on 46th Street and the Morosco Theatre on 45th Street were demolished in order to build the gigantic Marriott Marquis Hotel. The Marquis Theatre was included inside the hotel to supposedly placate the legions of actors and theatergoers who were outraged by this whole debacle. I have a friend who is an actor and he refuses to see any production that plays the Marquis Theatre. But now giving landmark status to the majority of Broadway theaters saves them from the fate of the Helen Hayes and the Morosco.


Theatres
"Madam Rose...and her daughter...Gypsy!"
chewy5000 Profile Photo
chewy5000
Broadway Legend
joined:12/1/09
Theatre Interiors/Architecture
Posted: 6/24/11 at 09:50am
IMHO I see Queenie as being more of a brunette...
Smaxie Profile Photo
Smaxie
Broadway Legend
joined:9/26/05
Theatre Interiors/Architecture
Posted: 6/24/11 at 10:51am
Nice link, Chewy. A few of those theatres were refurbished since those photos were taken.

The Belasco, in particular, is now fully restored and is incredibly gorgeous.



The Barrymore was also restored and has a sort of rose-colored theme to it, instead of that dreary beige and brown color scheme that almost all of the Shubert theatres were painted in the 60s and 70s.



I guess the Booth is currently getting an overhaul as well? I look forward to seeing it this fall.


Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end: then stop.
Updated On: 6/24/11 at 10:51 AM
TheaterBoy7777 Profile Photo
TheaterBoy7777
Broadway Star
joined:1/28/06
Theatre Interiors/Architecture
Posted: 6/24/11 at 11:34am
Here are a few shots of the Marquis lobby during Come Fly Away(where the lobby was transformed with big decals and lighting). You can see the staircase in the bottom link. The one quality I do like about the lobby(not in these pictures) is all of the past show posters that stretch across the whole lobby, although I think they have run out of room. Ill be interested to see if they start a second row.





and you can see the staircase in this one
Checkout my Broadway Marquee Page! www.BroadwayFlasher.com
Smaxie Profile Photo
Smaxie
Broadway Legend
joined:9/26/05
Theatre Interiors/Architecture
Posted: 6/24/11 at 11:41am
Yes, the wall of posters at the Marquis is like a gallery of horrors, or an annex of Joe Allen.
Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end: then stop.
Updated On: 6/24/11 at 11:41 AM
bwayphreak234 Profile Photo
bwayphreak234
Broadway Legend
joined:7/4/10
Theatre Interiors/Architecture
Posted: 6/24/11 at 03:02pm
I thought everyone was exaggerating when they said the Marquis was an ugly barn... They weren't. That theatre is just ugly.
"There’s nothing quite like the power and the passion of Broadway music. "
tking001
Broadway Legend
joined:4/3/09
Theatre Interiors/Architecture
Posted: 6/24/11 at 03:42pm
Does anyone know where to get the Broadway lost theatre book?
Amazon doesn't sell it anymore
bwayphreak234 Profile Photo
bwayphreak234
Broadway Legend
joined:7/4/10
Theatre Interiors/Architecture
Posted: 6/24/11 at 03:45pm
^ when I looked last night Amazon had copies available. I know they had used, and I'm pretty sure they had new copies as well.
"There’s nothing quite like the power and the passion of Broadway music. "
wafflehouse2005
Chorus Member
joined:7/11/08
Theatre Interiors/Architecture
Posted: 6/24/11 at 04:55pm
I work in the New Amsterdam which is one of the best parts of the job - getting to be in that space every day. The stories of the theatre and how it changed both on the interior and exterior are fascinating. My favorite story is how the carpeting was replicated.

It's a beautiful house - almost too gorgeous for Mary Poppins.

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