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Morosco Theatre

Coordinates: 40°45′29″N 73°59′08″W / 40.75801°N 73.98567°W / 40.75801; -73.98567
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Morosco Theatre
Night. Plain-looking theatre front from across the street, at an angle. Under the marquee, which is as wide as the theatre, a dozen or so people standing in front of the entrance are in bright light. Atop the building, a large sign announces the theatre's name and the play's name (abbreviated as Oh Dad Poor Dad, etc.). Everything else above the marquee, including nearby and distant buildings, is in relative darkness, but the street lights and illuminated signs and windows make it visible.
Morosco Theatre in 1963 prior to its 1982 demolition[1]
Address217 West 45th Street
New York City
United States
Coordinates40°45′29″N 73°59′08″W / 40.75801°N 73.98567°W / 40.75801; -73.98567
OpenedFebruary 5, 1917
ArchitectHerbert J. Krapp

The Morosco Theatre was a Broadway theatre near Times Square in New York City from 1917 to 1982. It housed many notable productions and its demolition, along with four adjacent theaters, was controversial.[2][3]


Located at 217 West 45th Street, the Morosco Theatre was designed by architect Herbert J. Krapp for the Shubert family, who constructed it for Oliver Morosco in gratitude for his helping them break the monopoly of the Theatrical Syndicate. It had approximately 955 seats. After an invitation-only preview performance on February 4, 1917, it opened to the public on February 5. The inaugural production was Canary Cottage, a musical with a book by Morosco and a score by Earl Carroll.[2][3][4]

The Shuberts lost the building in the Great Depression, and City Playhouses, Inc. bought it at auction in 1943. It was sold in 1968 to Bankers Trust Company[2] and, after a massive "Save the Theatres" protest movement led by Joe Papp and supported by various actors and other theatrical folk failed,[5][6] it was razed in 1982, along with the first Helen Hayes, the Bijou, and remnants of the Astor and the Gaiety theaters; it was replaced by the 49-story Marriott Marquis hotel and Marquis Theatre.[4]

Notable productions[edit]

Daytime. A plain theatre front is seen from the sidewalk, at an angle, with an electrical sign above showing the theatre's name. No play is advertised. The cornice is dirty and in disrepair. Next door (at right), part of another theatre is shown, with a play advertised on its marquee, and two "Post No Bills" signs at eye level. The left of the image shows part of a large hotel, with three people near the entrance.



  1. ^ The sign refers to Arthur Kopit's comedy, Oh Dad, Poor Dad, Mamma's Hung You in the Closet and I'm Feelin' So Sad, which ran at the Morosco from August 27 to October 5, 1963. (Oh Dad, Poor Dad, Mamma's Hung You in the Closet and I'm Feelin' So Sad at the Internet Broadway Database)
  2. ^ a b c Morosco Theatre at the Internet Broadway Database
  3. ^ a b "Morosco Theatre Opens Its Doors" (pdf). The New York Times. February 5, 1917.
  4. ^ a b Morrison, William (1999). Broadway Theatres: History and Architecture (trade paperback). Dover Books on Architecture. Mineola, New York: Dover Publications. p. 101. ISBN 0-486-40244-4.
  5. ^ Epstein, Helen (1994). Joe Papp: An American Life. Little, Brown. p. 403. ISBN 9780316246040. Retrieved February 22, 2013.
  6. ^ "City Panel Near Vote On Save-The-Theaters Proposals". The New York Times. April 15, 1984. Retrieved February 22, 2013.

External links[edit]

Media related to Morosco Theatre (New York City) at Wikimedia Commons