Lee Shubert built the Booth Theatre in partnership with the producer Winthrop Ames. Named for the actor Edwin Booth (1833-1893), brother to the infamous John Wilkes Booth, the venue was actually the second New York theatre to bear this name. The first was built by Booth himself in 1869 on 23rd Street and 6th Avenue. Ames’s father had been devoted to preserving the actor’s legacy, so Winthrop’s decision to name this theatre after Booth honored not only the actor, but connected his own family’s interest with the actor’s rich theatrical history. Ames intended to present the most challenging and prestigious productions possible here.
The Booth was designed by Henry Herts to be one of a pair of playhouses: the Booth and the Shubert Theatres abut each other along Shubert Alley in one seamless unit. Styled with “restrained classicism,” the Booth is the smaller, less extravagant of the two houses. The sgraffito that adorns the exterior of both theaters is the last known surviving example in New York of this once popular decorating technique. Ames had an extensive knowledge of the architecture and technical advances of contemporary European theatres and modeled his theatre and productions after them.
Spotlight on Broadway: Booth Theatre from Spotlight on Broadway on Vimeo.
Details on the Booth Theatre's Accessibility
Theatre is not completely wheelchair accessible.
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). Please note, once on the Mezzanine Level there are approximately 2 steps up/down per row. Entrance to Mezzanine is behind Row H.
Handrails: Available at the end of every stepped seat row in the Mezzanine.
Located in lobby. Accessible at 54".
Wheelchair accessible restroom available.
Located in concessions lobby. Accessible at 36".