Theatre Details
Lyric Theatre

213 W 42nd St

New York, NY 10036

PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION
Theater Description:
The theatre was built in 1996-98 on the site of the former Apollo and Lyric Theatres. The Lyric was built in 1903 and hosted such notable shows as Cole Porter's Fifty Million Frenchmen until it was converted to a movie theatre in 1934. The Apollo, constructed in 1920 by the Selwyn Brothers to a design by Eugene De Rosa, housed the Gershwin musical Strike Up the Band and George White's Scandals, among other works, but was also turned into a film venue by the early 1930s. A brief return to use as a legitimate theatre in the late 1970s proved unsuccessful, and the venue ended its existence as a nightclub.

By the early 1990s, after being neglected and falling into serious disrepair, both theatres were condemned. They were among the 42nd Street theatres repossessed by the City and State of New York in 1990, and fell under the protection of the New 42nd Street organization in 1992.

In 1996, the theatres were leased by Livent and demolished. However, certain major architectural elements and structures were protected under landmark status; these were carefully removed from the buildings, stored, and incorporated into the new theatre. Today, patrons visiting the theatre sit under the dome from the Lyric and proscenium arch from the Apollo, and pass through the ornate Lyric facades on 43rd and 42nd Streets.

The theatre opened as the Ford Center for the Performing Arts on January 26, 1998 with a musical version of E.L. Doctorow's Ragtime. In 2005, the venue was completely renovated and renamed the Hilton for the US premiere of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

After the closing of Young Frankenstein on January 4, 2009, the theatre was vacant throughout 2009. Spider-Man was the next production to officially open. It opened on June 14, 2011 following seven months of preview performances.