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Which Four Broadway Theatres Are Named After Women?

Learn about these theatre namesakes, their careers, and more!

Did you know, out of the 41 Broadway theatres in New York City, there are only 4 named after women?

We're looking into the history of each of these theatres, plus their namesakes Ethel Barrymore, Vivian Beaumont Allen, Lynn Fontanne, and Helen Hayes.

Want to learn even more theatre trivia and fun facts? Check out our ongoing Theatre Stories series!

Ethel Barrymore Theatre

Which Four Broadway Theatres Are Named After Women?

Located: 243 W 47th Street
Built In: 1928
Seats: 1096
Most Recent Show: The Inheritance (closed March 11, 2020)
First Show: The Kingdom of God (December 20, 1928 - March 1929)

Who was Ethel Barrymore?

Ethel Barrymore was an American actress (she's Drew Barrymore's great-aunt!). Her debut on Broadway was in 1895 in The Imprudent Young Couple. In 1928, she starred in the first production of her namesake theatre, The Kingdom of God. Her final bow on Broadway was in 1944's Embezzled Heaven. She would pass away in 1959 from cardiovascular disease.

Vivian Beaumont Theatre

Which Four Broadway Theatres Are Named After Women?

Located: 150 W 65th Street at the Lincoln Center for Performing Arts
Built In: 1965
Seats: 1080
Most Recent Show: Flying Over Sunset (Never officially opened before shutdown)
First Show: Danton's Death (October 21, 1965 - November 27, 1965)

Who was Vivian Beaumont Allen?

Vivian Beaumont Allen was a former actress and a long-time patron of Broadway theater. As an heiress to modern day Macy's stores, she donated $3 million for the Lincoln Center to house a theater for a repertory company to perform in. It wasn't until 1965 that the theater's construction was completed, after Allen had passed 3 years prior in 1962.

Lunt-Fontanne Theater

Which Four Broadway Theatres Are Named After Women?

Located: 205 W 46th Street
Built In: 1910
Previous Names: Globe Theatre
Seats: 1519
Most Recent Show: Tina: The Tina Turner Musical (November 7, 2019 - Present)
First Show: The Old Town (January 10, 1910 - June 4, 1910)

Who was Lynn Fontanne?

Lynn Fontanne was one-half of the Lunt-Fontanne acting team, alongside her husband Alfred Lunt. She made her Broadway debut in 1910 in Mr. Preedy and the Countess. The theatre was originally named The Globe Theatre, in honor of the infamous Shakespeare Playhouse in London. After undergoing renovations, the theatre was reopened under the new Lunt-Fontanne name and housed a revival of Friedrich Duerrenmatt's The Visit, starring the couple. Lynn was nominated for a Tony Award for her role. She passed away in 1983.

Hayes Theater

Which Four Broadway Theatres Are Named After Women?

Located: 240 W 44th Street
Built In: 1912
Previous Names: Little Theatre, Anne Nichols' Little Theatre, Winthrop Ames Theatre, Helen Hayes Theatre
Seats: 597 (The smallest theatre on Broadway)
Most Recent Show: Take Me Out (Never officially opened before shutdown)
First Show: The Pigeon (March 12, 1912 - May 1912)

Who was Helen Hayes?

Helen Hayes was an actress with the nickname the 'First Lady of American Theatre.' She has received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the National Medal of Arts, and achieved EGOT status (winner of an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony). Her Broadway debut was in 1909's Old Dutch. Hayes had another theatre named after her on West 46th Street, which was demolished to construct what is now the New York Marriott Marquis hotel. Soon after, the Little Theatre was renamed in honor of Helen Hayes. She passed away in 1993.

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