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Imperial Theatre
History
The Shuberts conceived of the Imperial Theatre, their fiftieth New York venue, as a home to musical theatre hits, and their dream has been realized many times over. The playhouse was constructed as a replacement for the Shubert’s 20 year old (and out-of-date) Lyric Theatre.

Productions
Over the years, the Imperial has witnessed a distinguished roster of hits. Its inaugural production was Mary Jane McKane (1923) followed by Broadway’s biggest grosser of the 1920s, the operetta Rose-Marie (1924). Next was George and Ira Gershwin’s Oh, Kay! (1926) starring Gertrude Lawrence, which included the now-classic “Someone to Watch Over Me.” Successes of the 1930s included two George and Ira Gershwin tuners, Of Thee I Sing (1933) and Let ‘Em Eat Cake (1933), Moss Hart and Cole Porter’s Jubilee (1935), which featured premieres of “Begin the Beguine” and “Just One of Those Things”, and Rodgers and Hart’s On Your Toes (1936). Mary Martin debuted on Broadway in Cole Porter’s Leave It to Me (1938), singing “My Heart Belongs to Daddy”, and backed up by a chorus boy named Gene Kelly.

Many of the 20th century’s most respected and successful composers and musical theatre stars played the Imperial Theatre. Irving Berlin had four hits here in the 1940s: Louisiana Purchase (1940), Miss Liberty (1949), Annie Get Your Gun (1946) and Call Me Madam (1950). Cole Porter had his collaboration with Herbert and Dorothy Fields Let’s Face It (1941), and Silk Stockings (1955).

Frank Loesser’s The Most Happy Fella (1956) led a new generation of hits, followed by Carnival (1960), Oliver! (1963) and the history-making Fiddler on the Roof (1964) starring Zero Mostel, which went on to become the longest running musical of its time in Broadway history. When Fiddler trasnferred to the Majestic to finish its run, two John Kander and Fred Ebb musicals moved in: Cabaret (1967) and Zorba (1968).

The most successful shows of the 1970s were Bob Fosse’s production of Stephen Schwartz’s Pippin (1972) starring Ben Vereen, and back-to-back Neil Simon hits: Chapter Two (1977) and They’re Playing Our Song (1979). Michael Bennett’s Dreamgirls (1981) was followed by two Shubert-produced musicals: Chess (1988) and Jerome Robbins' Broadway (1989). In 1990, Les Misérables moved to the Imperial from the Broadway, and completed its 6,680 performance run.

Most recently, the Imperial welcomed Australian heartthrob Hugh Jackman in the Peter Allen musical biography, The Boy From Oz (2003), the award-winning musical Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (2005), Tracy Lett's acclaimed August: Osage County (2007), the Tony Award-winning Best Musical Billy Elliot (2008) and Nice Work if You Can Get It (2012) with Matthew Broderick and Kelli O'Hara.

Architecture
Like many other Shubert theatres, the Imperial was designed by Herbert Krapp in his trademark Adam-style. The recessed ceiling and ornamental panels that grace the walls are elaborately decorated with a number of motifs, including florals and geometrics. The rectangular auditorium is wider than it is deep, which allows most audience members to feel close to the stage and performers.

Details on the Imperial Theatre's Accessibility

Access Information
Theatre is not completely wheelchair accessible. There are no steps into 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 (23 steps). Please Note: On the Mezzanine or Balcony level, there are approximately 2 steps up/down per row. Entrance to Front Mezzanine is behind row F.

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

Elevators/Escalator
None Available

Payphone
Located in the lobby. Accessible at 54", with TTY utility outlet.

Restroom
There is a wheelchair accessible restroom (unisex) located on the main level.

Imperial Theatre Exterior, 45th Street, <em>Les Miserables</em>
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Imperial Theatre Exterior, 45th Street, Les Miserables spacer
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Seat Detail, Imperial Theatre
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Seat Detail, Imperial Theatre spacer
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Imperial Theatre Interior, Proscenium, Stage and Mezzanine
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Imperial Theatre Interior, Proscenium, Stage and Mezzanine spacer
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Imperial Theatre Exterior,<br>Gertrude Lawrence in <em>Oh, Kay!</em>, 1926
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Imperial Theatre Exterior,
Gertrude Lawrence in Oh, Kay!, 1926
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Imperial Theatre Interior,<br>Orchestra and Mezzanine, view from boxes
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Imperial Theatre Interior,
Orchestra and Mezzanine, view from boxes
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Now Playing
Les Miserables
Les Miserables TicketsLes Miserables is the winner of over 100 international awards and has become a global success on stage and screen, sweeping audiences through an epic tale of broken dreams, passion and redemption, against the backdrop of a nation seething with revolution. This newly re-imagined production has already broken box office records across the UK, America, Japan, Korea, Spain and is soon to open in Australia. The Oscar-winning film version has become one of the most successful movie musicals of all time.

Tickets and Access Information
Theatre Specs
Imperial Theatre
249 West 45th Street
Between Broadway and 8th Avenue
New York, NY 10036
spacer Imperial Theatre
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Year Builtspacer1923
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Seating Capacityspacer1443 Total
Orchestraspacer759
Front Mezzaninespacer283
Rear Mezzaninespacer377
Boxesspacer24
Pit (Add'l)spacer16
Wheelchairspacer5
Aisle Transfer Armspacer15
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Theatre Dimensions 
Proscenium Opening:39' 7"
Height of Proscenium:25' 0"
Depth to proscenium:33' 8"
Depth to front of stage:40' 2"
Stage Type:Proscenium
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Seating Map
Click on the chart to see a larger version.
Imperial Theatre Seating Map
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Photo Credits  Site Map  Web Policies  ©2012 The Shubert Organization, Inc. site by Swandivedigital
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