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Forrest Theatre, Philadephia
History
The Forrest is a quintessential "road house", used primarily by touring theatre and dance companies. It was built in 1927 to compete with rival A.L. Erlanger’s planned new playhouse at Market and 21st Streets. The Shuberts intended the new playhouse--named after Edwin Forrest, the great Philadelphia born tragic actor of the nineteenth century--to surpass Erlanger's new theatre in terms of size and splendor.

Productions
The opening performance was The Red Robe (1928), starring Walter Woolf and Evelyn Herbert. Many musicals, dramas and comedies have been launched from the Forrest. Yiddish Theatre, one man shows, dance programs, Gilbert & Sullivan productions and the Philadelphia Orchestra have all graced this stage.

Some notable Broadway shows which tried-out at this venue before debuting on Broadway include The Music Man (1957), Carnival (1961), Sail Away (1961), Bravo Giovanni (1962), Funny Girl (1963) starring Barbra Streisand, Holly Golightly (1965) —the first show at the Forrest where ticket prices broke $10.00, Sugar (1965), Golden Rainbow (1967), Brainchild (1969), The Wiz (1970), 70 Girls 70 (1973), Bob Fosse's Chicago (1975) starring Chita Rivera and Gwen Verdon, Prince of Grand Street (1976), 1600 Pennsylvania Ave (1976), When Hell Freezes Over I'll Skate (1977), I Love My Wife (1977), and Sophisticated Ladies (1980).

National tours which began here include Zorba (1967) and A Little Night Music (1973).

Architecture
The Forrest is one of architect Herbert J. Krapp's final theatre designs and also one of his more elaborate. Built at a cost of over $2,000,000, it boasted many modern conveniences including wider seats in the orchestra, a smoking room for both men and ladies in the lower lounge and state of the art ventilation and electrical systems. The interior was sumptuously decorated with gilt Adam detailing and silk brocade. The dressing rooms are housed in a separate building and connected by an underground tunnel to the Forrest’s stage.

Details on the Forrest Theatre's Accessibility

Access Information
Theatre is not completely wheelchair accessible. There are no steps into the theatre from the sidewalk. Please be advised that where there are steps either into or within the theatre, we are unable to provide assistance.

Accessibility by Seating Section
Orchestra Location: Seating is accessible to all parts of the Orchestra without steps. There are no steps to the designated wheelchair seating location.

Mezzanine Location: Located on the 2nd Level, up 2 flights of stairs (30 steps). Please Note: The entrance to the 2nd Level is at the east end of the Grand Foyer.

Rear Mezzanine Location: Located on the 2nd Level, behind the Mezzanine. The upper rear Mezzanine landing has a rear exit which connects with Mezzanine exits in the theatre. There is a total of 66 steps.

Handrails: Available at the end of every stepped seat row in the Mezzanine.

Elevators/Escalator
None Available

Payphone
Located in the Box Office lobby (accessible).

Restroom
There is a wheelchair accessible (unisex) restroom on the street level with no steps.

Water Fountain
Located in the unisex restroom on the main level (accessible).

Forrest Theatre Interior, View of<br>Stage and Proscenium from Balcony
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Forrest Theatre Interior, View of
Stage and Proscenium from Balcony
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Forrest Theatre Exterior, <em>Fosse</em>
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Forrest Theatre Exterior, Fosse spacer
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Forrest Theatre Lobby and staircase
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Forrest Theatre Lobby and staircase spacer
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Architectural detail of Forrest Theatre ceiling
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Architectural detail of Forrest Theatre ceiling spacer
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Forrest Theatre Interior, Mezzanine and Orchestra
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Forrest Theatre Interior, Mezzanine and Orchestra spacer
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Coming Up
Eddie Izzard: Force Majeure
Eddie Izzard: Force Majeure TicketsThe London Sunday Times calls him “The Greatest British Stand-Up Comedian of his Generation" The New York Times declared “ His humor reflects the scattershot lunacy of Monty Python, but with flashes of Robin Williams’s manic energy and a sophisticated silliness that is entirely his own. He is the most brilliant stand-up comedian of his generation. Sheer Comic Genius!”

Tickets and Access Information
Theatre Specs
Forrest Theatre, Philadephia
1114 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107
spacer Forrest Theatre, Philadephia
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Year Builtspacer1928
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Seating Capacityspacer1851 Total
Orchestraspacer924
Mezzaninespacer260
Balconyspacer639
Boxesspacer16
Pit (Add'l)spacer12
Wheelchairspacer6
Aisle Transfer Armspacer11
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Theatre Dimensions 
Proscenium Opening:43' 0"
Height of Proscenium:30' 0"
Depth to proscenium:39' 0"
Depth to front of stage:40' 8"
Stage Type:Proscenium
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Seating Map
Click on the chart to see a larger version.
Forrest Theatre, Philadephia Seating Map
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