The Cort Theatre was built by and named for John Cort, general manager of the Northwestern Theatrical Association, a theatre circuit centered in Seattle with playhouses scattered throughout the western US and British Columbia. A fugitive from a vaudeville comedy team called Cort and Murphy, Cort moved from performing to management in the 1890s. The Shuberts acquired the theatre in 1927, two years before Cort’s death.
The Cort is the only surviving, still active, legitimate theatre on Broadway designed by Thomas Lamb. Its classic exterior was inspired by the 18th century French Petit Trianon at Versailles. Architecture from the period of Louis XVI also inspired the interior. The lobby is constructed of Pavanozza marble with panels of Marie Antoinette plasterwork. The proscenium arch was constructed in perforated plaster treated with art glass that could be lit during performances; this arch still exists but is not operational today.
Spotlight on Broadway: Cort Theatre from Spotlight on Broadway on Vimeo.
Details on the Cort Theatre's Accessibility
Theatre is not completely wheelchair accessible. There are no steps into the theatre.
Accessibility by Seating Section
Orchestra Location: Seating is accessible to all parts of the Orchestra without steps.
Mezzanine Location: Up 2 flights of stairs. Please note: On the Mezzanine level there are approximately 2 steps down per row. Entrance to Mezzanine is behind Row H.
Balcony Location: Up 3 flights of stairs. Please note: On the Balcony level there are approximately 2 steps down per row. Entrance to Balcony is behind Row F.
Handrails: Available at the end of every stepped seat row in the Mezzanine and Balcony.
In Ticket Lobby (Accessible at 54", with shelf and utility outlet.)
Not wheelchair accessible. Restrooms located down 1 flight of 19 steps.
If you need wheelchair accessible restrooms you can use the ones in the Renaissance Hotel mezzanine level (7th Avenue and 48th Street).
Accessible fountain located in the lobby of the Cort.
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.