Theatre Details
St James Theatre

246 West 44th Street

New York City, NY 10036

Theater Description:
Originally called the Erlanger Theatre, it was built in 1927 by theatrical syndicate owner A. L. Erlanger and was the first theater built by Warren & Wetmore, one of New York’s most prominent architectural firms and designers of Grand Central S tation.

Known for their grand and ostentatious buildings, Warren & Wetmore designed a comparatively simple exterior for this theater—a brick facade with an ornate iron loggia. The St. James was one of the largest theaters on Broadway and reflected Warren & Wetmore’s Beaux-Arts training as well as their interest in French-inspired ornamental detail. In addition to the ornate murals and plasterwork covering the interior, the theater also boasted two balconies, making it a very successful house for musicals. Erlanger survived the opening of the theater by only three years. It was purchased by the Astor family, who renamed it the St. James, and was eventually acquired by the Shubert organization in 1941. Oklahoma!,1943’s opening show, was expected to be a flop but it played for six years. In 1957, the Shuberts sold the theater to William L. McKnight, who transferred ownership to his daughter and Jujamcyn Theaters in 1970. It was their first Broadway theater acquisition. The St. James has continued to build on its musical theater history by presenting works such as The King and I, The Pajama Game, Flower Drum Song, Hello Dolly! and The Producers.

Learn more at Spotlight in Broadway