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.
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.