The Broadway Theatre is one of only five playhouses that front on the street named Broadway. It opened in 1924 as B. S. Moss’s Colony, a premiere film house. The most notable film that played there in the early years was Walt Disney’s Steamboat Willie which opened in 1928, and introduced American audiences to an adorable rodent named Mickey Mouse. The theatre went “legit” from 1930 to 1934, when it was re-christened the Broadway. From 1934 to 1940, the house was once again dedicated to motion picture exhibition, and offered the premiere of Disney’s Fantasia in 1939. In 1940, however, it returned to legitimate stage production and, except for a brief stint as a Cinerama movie theatre in the 1950s, has remained in the business of showcasing live theatre ever since.
B. S. Moss commissioned architect Eugene DeRosa to design the Colony as part of his chain of movie theatres, many of which also housed vaudeville. The large size of the theatre (1,765 seats) made it ideal for musical comedies, and its large stage, originally built to accommodate an orchestra to accompany silent films, proved large enough for aircraft. The original façade (like the interior) was built in the Italian Renaissance style, and then resurfaced in polished granite when a skyscraper was constructed above the theatre in 1991.
Theatre is not completely wheelchair accessible.
Shubert Audience Services
The Broadway Theatre provides at least 10 infrared assistive listening devices for every performance at the theatre. Beginning 4 weeks after a show’s official opening night performance, at least 10 audio description devices are available for every performance at the theatre. In addition, there is unlimited access to downloadable audio description software for personal mobile devices, available beginning 4 weeks after a show’s official opening night performance, which provides an automated detailed account of the visual of the production, free of charge, for blind or partially sighted patrons. The theatre also offers hand-held devices and software that provide captioning for deaf or hard of hearing patrons, available beginning 4 weeks after a show’s official opening night performance. Additional devices can be available with at least 24 hours’ notice by contacting Shubert Audience Services at 212-944-3700 or firstname.lastname@example.org. There is also a representative at the Shubert Audience Services kiosk at every performance to assist any patron with the audio description devices, software, or captioning devices.
Accessibility by Seating Section
Orchestra: Seating is accessible to all parts of the Orchestra without steps. Wheelchair seating is located in the Orchestra only.
Mezzanine (second level): 2 flights of stairs (up 31 steps) 11 steps/landing/9 steps/landing with restrooms/3 steps/landing/8 steps. Please note, once on the Mezzanine level there are approx 2 steps up/down per row. Entrance to Mezz. is behind Front Mezzanine row F and in front row A of rear mezzanine.
Handrails: Available at the end of every stepped seat row in the Mezzanine.
Located in lobby.
Wheelchair accessible (unisex) restroom is located on lobby level.
Located in the restrooms.
The use of cameras, recording devices, cell phones, beepers, and other electronic devices during the performance is prohibited. Everyone attending a performance must have a ticket. Latecomers will be seated at the discretion of management. Wheelchair and mobility-impaired seating is intended for patrons with mobility disabilities. Children under the age of four years will not be admitted. No outside food or beverage permitted. No weapons permitted on the premises.