The James Earl Jones Theatre was built by and originally 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 theatre was rechristened the James Earl Jones in 2022 in honor of the celebrated actor who made his Broadway debut at the playhouse in Sunrise at Campobello in 1958
The Jones is the only surviving, still active, legitimate theatre on Broadway designed by architect 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 was constructed of Pavanozza marble with panels of Marie Antoinette plasterwork. The proscenium arch is composed of perforated plaster treated with art glass that could be lit during performances.
Details on the Cort Theatre's Accessibility
Theatre is wheelchair accessible. There are no steps into the theatre.
Shubert Audience Services
The James Earl Jones 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 Location: Seating is accessible to all parts of the Orchestra without steps.
Mezzanine Location: Accessible via elevator or up 25 steps. Please note: On the Mezzanine level there are approximately 2 steps down per row. Entrance to Mezzanine is behind Row H.
Balcony Location: Accessible via elevator or up 55 steps. 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
Wheelchair | Companion Seat Locations:
Orchestra: P11 | P13, 15, 17; P7 | P5, 3, 1; P106 | P105, 104, 103; P108 | P109, 110, 111; P4 | P2, O2, 4; P8 | P10, 12, 14; N20 | N18, 16, 14
Mezzanine: G21 | G23, 17, 15; G3 | G1, 7, 9; G18 | G16, 14, 12; G22 | G24, F22, 24
Balcony: G19 | G21, 15, 13; G20 | G22, 16, 14
Aisle Seat with Folding Armrest | Companion Locations:
Orchestra: O19 | O17; M1 | M3; K101 | K102; M2 | M4; N2 | N4; M22 | M20
Mezzanine: G101 | G102; G112 | G111; G2 | G4
Balcony: G101 | G102; G114 | G113; G2 | G4
An elevator is available to access lower level restrooms, as well as the Mezzanine, and Balcony levels of the theatre.
Lower Lounge: Wheelchair accessible restrooms are available via elevator or down 19 steps.
Mezzanine Level: Wheelchair accessible restrooms are available via elevator or up 25 steps.
Balcony Level: Wheelchair accessible restrooms are available via elevator or up 55 steps.
Accessible fountains located in the lower lounge, mezzanine level, and balcony level.
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, unless medically necessary. No weapons permitted on the premises.