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Amsterdam Theatre History
A rare example of the Art Nouveau style, the New Amsterdam was the embodiment of Beaux Arts ideal in which painting and sculpture are full and equal partners with architecture. This sparkling new theatre opened in 1903, and was soon recognized as the crown jewel of 42nd Street. Among the outstanding musical shows presented there were George M. Cohan’s “Forty-five Minutes from Broadway” (1906), Franz Lehar’s “The Merry Widow” (1907), and Victor Herbert’s “Sweethearts” (1913). As the principal home of the “Ziegfeld Follies” from 1913 until 1927, the New Amsterdam achieved a theatrical aura, allowing the house to flourish. The 1930 edition of “Earl Carroll Vanities played to packed houses, along with Irving Berlin’s “Face the Music” (1932).
Starting in the 1940’s the New Amsterdam experienced a series of stints as a movie house, radio studio, television theatre, and rehearsal spaces, before being gutted to return the main auditorium to legitimate uses. The project was stalled by structural problems and then by political and financial problems that stalled the much-touted renewal of 42nd Street. In 1994 the Walt Disney Company began a program to renovate the New Amsterdam as a home for its own productions. After a multimillion-dollar renovation, the New Amsterdam reopened with Disney’s “The Lion King” in 1997.
The theatre has a seating capacity of 1741 and a Proscenium stage type.
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New Amsterdam Theatre Address
214 West 42nd StreetNY, NY 10036
South side of West 42nd Street, between 7th & 8th Avenues.
Take the 1, 2, 3 trains to 42nd Street. Head west to the theatre
Accessible seating is available in Orchestra Row V and Mezzanine Row LL through the Box Office only, the theatre is street level.
The concession and lobby are located on the main level. Restrooms are located down a spiral staircase or elevator. A coatcheck is also available. The New Amsterdam is air conditioned with wheelchair seating available.
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