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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.
Spotlight on Broadway: Broadway Theatre from Spotlight on Broadway on Vimeo.
Details on the Broadway Theatre's Accessibility
Theatre is not completely wheelchair accessible.
Shubert Audience Services
The Broadway Theatre provides accommodations for patrons who are blind, deaf, partially sighted, and/or have hearing loss. The theatre provides infrared assistive listening devices for every performance at the theatre. In addition, beginning four weeks after a show’s official opening night performance, hand-held audio description devices, hand-held captioning devices, and unlimited access to downloadable audio description and/or captioning for personal mobile devices are all available free of charge. Prior thereto, we offer live-caption via CART using a hand-held device, upon request with two-weeks’ advance notice. For assistance, or If you have questions, contact Shubert Audience Services at 212-944-3700 or email@example.com. There is also a representative at the Shubert Audience Services kiosk at every performance to assist any patron with any of our devices, software, or technology. Hand-held devices are limited, although additional devices can be obtained with at least twenty-four hours’ notice.
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.
Wheelchair | Companion Seat Locations:
Orchestra: F18 | F12 - 16; Q27 | Q21 - 25; Q28 | Q22 - 26; Q101 | Q102 - 104; S113 | S110 - 112; S27 | S21 - 25; S28 | S22 - 26
Aisle Seat with Folding Armrest | Companion Locations:
Orchestra: I24 | I22; J23 | J21; J24 | J22; L27 | L25; L28 | L26; P114 | P113; P28 | P26
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, except as permitted for accessibility services. 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, unless medically necessary. No weapons permitted on the premises.