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Happy 95th Birthday to the Al Hirschfeld Theatre

Stage Directions • November 2019Theatre Buzz • November 13, 2019

The Al Hirschfeld Theatre opened on November 11th, 1924. Take a look back at 95 years of amazing shows at the theater in this video from The Broadway League:

Designed by architect G. Albert Lansburgh for vaudeville promoter Martin Beck, the theatre opened as the Martin Beck Theatre with a production of Madame Pompadour on November 11, 1924. It was the only theater in New York that was owned outright without a mortgage. It was designed to be the most opulent theatre of its time and has dressing rooms for 200 actors.
An interior view of the Al Hirschfeld Theatre

Famous appearances include Basil Rathbone as Romeo with Katharine Cornell as Juliet in December 1934; Burgess Meredith as Mio in Winterset in 1935; Richard Gere in Bent; Frank Langella in Dracula; Elizabeth Taylor in The Little Foxes; David Hyde Pierce as Lt. Coffi in the musical Curtains; and Daniel Radcliffe in the latest revival of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. After the long-running Kinky Boots closed, the current resident show is Moulin Rouge!.
An interior view of the Al Hirschfeld Theatre with the set design of Moulin Rouge, from Scenic Designer, Derek McLane, taking over the whole space. Photo by Monique Carboni

Initially owned by the Beck Family, the theater was purchased in 1965 by William L. McKnight of Jujamcyn Theaters. On June 21, 2003, it was renamed the Al Hirschfeld Theatre in honor of the caricaturist famous for his drawings of Broadway celebrities, and reopened on November 23, 2003, with a revival of the musical Wonderful Town. The Hirshfield is one of five theatres owned and operated by Jujamcyn Theaters.

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