Henry Miller's Theatre

124 W. 43rd Street,
New York, NY 10036

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Showing 26 - 50 of 70 comments

robboehm
robboehm on March 6, 2009 at 8:01 pm

Although it had a spotty history as a legitimate theatre it is ironic that the last show which played there, Urinetown, the Musical, was a hit. I remember walking thru the construction to attend the show. They had netting under the chandelier to prevent any crystals from being dislodged by the surrounding construction. Actually the run of the show was cut short by the need to demolish the auditorium for the new building.

Incidentally, a number of years previously, the theatre had been damaged by debris from a neighboring construction site which penetrated the roof.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on January 29, 2009 at 5:38 pm

This is from Boxoffice magazine in October 1961:

NEW YORK-The unanimously favorable reviews for “West Side Story” resulted in continuous lines of ticket-buyers outside the Rivoli and a capacity gross for its two-a-day engagement. “King of Kings” was also capacity in its second week of two-a-days at Loew’s State, while “La Dolce Vita” held up remarkably well for the start of its second six months (27th week) at Henry Miller’s Theater. “Exodus” closed a 44-week run at two-a-day Tuesday October 24 at the Warner Theater, which opened “The Mask” at continuous run October 27 but will revert to two-a-day in December with “El Cid”.

David DeCoteau
David DeCoteau on March 10, 2008 at 11:51 pm

Ad for the PARK MILLER…
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Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on December 5, 2007 at 7:22 am

In May 1975 the Park-Miller theatre moved to 7th and 48th Street (most likely the former Avon 7). It is at this time that the Henry Miller may have become the Avon-at-the-Hudson.

GeorgeStrum
GeorgeStrum on November 11, 2007 at 6:42 pm

I visited this theatre only once back in 1977 out of curiosity. It was crowded with men and many stood in the back to watch the show. There was a slide show of men both naked and in swim suits while the song ‘Fascination" played in the background. Then a film called “Adultery For Fun and Profit” came on which was rather hard core and included bisexual activities. Not pleased with the program I went to the box office and asked for my money back. The guy in the ticket booth loudly repsonded with a flat out “No!”

Luis Vazquez
Luis Vazquez on October 22, 2007 at 1:50 pm

I remember way back when reading that certain architecturally significant elements from the original Miller theater were removed and stored to be used as part of the building of the new theater. I truly hope this wasn’t wishful thinking on my part, but I do remember reading that. Nonetheless, seeing the link above of the cut away of the new theater, it looks like a totally modern theater. I do think it looks nice and comfortable, but I guess it would be hard to tell from that picture what the actual lobby, lounges and auditorium decor would look like. Hopefully, there will be some connection with the old Miller other than the facade.

Regarding a comment above about what happened after Xenon: Yes, the theater became the rock dance club “Shout!” for several years after before going dark again.

AlexNYC
AlexNYC on July 8, 2007 at 2:35 pm

Here’s a link to the accompanying photo of the above NY Times article from 05/10/2007. This is of the cutaway image of the new planned Henry Miller Theater.

View link

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on May 23, 2007 at 10:46 am

Hey Lost. Interesting in that 2nd photo of the three you just posted, there’s absolutely no canopy or signage on the facade to advertise the current engagement. I note two display cases, but one would have needed to be directly in front of the theater entrance doors before they could make out what the attraction was. Perhaps the photo dates to just after construction was complete and before a canopy was installed?

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on May 23, 2007 at 9:10 am

If you click on the link provided by AlexNYC (and have a free account to the NYT website), you’ll see a nice cutaway rendering of the new theater. Interesting how the majority of the theater is subterranean. The street level entrance is actually on grade with the last row of the balcony. I gather from the rendering and the article that none of the original theater’s interior elements will be incorporated into the new design – putting to rest at least that lingering question.

AlexNYC
AlexNYC on May 10, 2007 at 3:54 pm

NY Times article

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May 10, 2007
Roundabout to Fill a Brand-New 89-Year-Old Theater

By CAMPBELL ROBERTSON
If everything stays on schedule, the number of Broadway theaters will increase by one in the fall of 2008, with the opening of Henry Miller’s Theater, behind an 89-year-old facade of old Broadway on 43rd Street that will be surrounded by the glass modernity of the new 54-story tall Bank of America Tower.

But enough with the nostalgia. Who’s getting it?

The Roundabout Theater Company is in the final stages of negotiations for a 20-year lease with the Durst Organization and Bank of America, the owners of the theater, which will have around 1,000 seats.

The Shuberts, Nederlanders and the Jujamcyn theater chain all approached the Durst Organization about the theater, some interested in becoming owners or part owners, but were unable to make a deal. As a long-term tenant it was Roundabout that fit the bill, said Douglas Durst, a co-president of the Durst Organization. (It can’t hurt that Mr. Durst sits on the Roundabout’s board.)

Of Todd Haimes, the president of Roundabout, Mr. Durst said: “I’ve watched Todd, both as a part of Times Square and as a board member, and he’s just been so successful at the projects he’s undertaken that we thought the best way to go would be with Roundabout.”

The company already owns or leases two Broadway theaters â€" the 740-seat American Airlines Theater on 42nd Street and the 920-seat Studio 54 on 54th Street â€" and has an Off Broadway presence at the 420-seat Laura Pels Theater, part of the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theater on 46th Street.

Keeping shows in all of these theaters partly explains the company’s $40 million budget.

The idea, Mr. Haimes said, would be to put a popular show for an extended run in one of the three Broadway theaters and use the others for the traditional two- or three-shows-a-year Roundabout schedule.

That extended-run show, as first reported in The New York Post last week, could be a revival of Sam Mendes’s production of “Cabaret,” which, conveniently enough, was the first Broadway show to play Henry Miller’s Theater in 15 years when it opened there in 1998. If the Roundabout had that theater last year, Mr. Haimes said, it would have been a logical home for the popular revival of “The Pajama Game.”

But what is the Roundabout, a nonprofit company whose official mission is to interpret “the masterpieces of the world’s great theatrical heritage” doing looking for a popular hit?

“I have no problem producing something that I think is popular or commercial to make money,” Mr. Haimes said, “as long as the money goes for the not-for-profit purpose.”

“The reality,” he added, “is that the only way we ever sort of get ahead of the game financially is to have some successful shows.”

Neither Mr. Haimes nor Durst officials would give details about finances.

There are risks that come with taking on one more production â€" in a leased theater, no less â€" even if that production has all the signs of being a smash. But, Mr. Haimes said, “there’s a risk with everything.”

Henry Miller’s Theater, named for an actor, director and producer has a serious pedigree; Thornton Wilder’s “Our Town” opened there in 1938. But it had been more or less out of the Broadway business when “Cabaret” moved in. In 2003 plans for the Bank of America Tower, between Broadway and the Avenue of the Americas, were announced.

The Georgian facade was protected by landmark status, and, though the insides have been gutted, the developer was bound by state regulations to keep the space a working theater. The $30 million renovation is under way, though for now only a bare intimation of a theater can be made from concrete and scaffolding.

There are no plans to change the theater’s name.

Ian
Ian on March 15, 2007 at 1:18 pm

Another exterior photo here:–

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RobertR
RobertR on September 25, 2006 at 2:14 pm

1969 as the Park-Miller
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Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on July 11, 2006 at 11:51 pm

I have a couple of photos on my cell phone of the construction site with some signs of the semi-covered facade peaking out. If you want me to text these please send me your phone number at

NativeForestHiller
NativeForestHiller on June 26, 2006 at 11:14 pm

I hope their vision is achieved!!!

Ian
Ian on June 26, 2006 at 9:49 pm

I thought the intention WAS to recreate the auditorium of Henry Millers – with expanded foyers and modern facilities. The original publicity from the developers certainly stressed the re-creation of the original theatre.

NativeForestHiller
NativeForestHiller on June 26, 2006 at 6:35 pm

It would be a conversation piece if anyone took a photo of the facade with vacant lots all around, as it appeared last summer. Even now, some quality photos can be taken. If anyone has taken photos, please share them. I do miss the original interior though, despite the shape it was in. I hope the modern theater will duplicate the intricate plasterwork, but with modern technological conveniences. That would put the icing on the cake, since the original interior has already been demolished.

I recall participating in Manhattan Association of Cabaret & Clubs (MAC) functions there in 1999, after an awards ceremony and show at Town Hall, across the street. Looking forward to seeing whether Henry Miller’s Theatre will be something we can call “a victory!”

acmorrison
acmorrison on June 26, 2006 at 2:51 pm

The Henry Miller facade remains in place, heavily shored and largely hidden as a new tall building rises behind it. The new building will contain a modern live Broadway theater that will be accessed through the original Miller entry.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on June 26, 2006 at 10:32 am

I hate to be the bearer of bad news but there is no sign of this theatre anymore and it is now a construction site. Am I naive in thinking the facade was removed and will be returned reburbished?

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on June 21, 2006 at 5:15 am

Thanks Al. The Hudson is now used for catered events and such. I figured the orchestra seats were probably ripped out, but I didn’t know if there were any other alterations. You can have a wedding there, for instance. But I also know that Howard Stern recently had a “film festival” there for his fans. I believe the films were all projected on video, so I’m not sure if proper film presentation can still be facilitated there. The Miller orchestra had also been leveled for its use as a disco (ala Studio 54) and for its presentation of the “Cabaret” revival, but I suspect that seats were reinstalled for the run of “Urinetown”… or am I mistaken?

A shame that none of the original interior architecture could be preserved. Why not cantilever the new construction over the theater like they did when the Hilton Hotel went up on 42nd Street over the Liberty?

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on June 21, 2006 at 4:28 am

Ed, according to the Hudson entries (/theaters/2971/) the Henry Miller was left with just the facade. I suspect some confusion with these two as both are reported as having been called Avon-at-the-Hudson and I suspect the interiors were altered between them at some stage.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on June 21, 2006 at 3:49 am

Hate to sound like a broken record, but does anyone know if any original elements of the theater’s interior have been saved to be incorporated in the new theatrical space (ala elements of the 42nd Street Apollo and Lyric in the Hilton Theater)? Or will this be an entirely new space with only the 43rd Street facade preserved? I haven’t been by the site for a while so I don’t know how construction is going… I believe the project is the new Bank of America office tower which, last I heard, was scheduled for 2008 occupancy.

DixonSteele
DixonSteele on June 20, 2006 at 11:44 pm

Hard to believe back in the day it housed the original Broadway production of OUR TOWN

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on April 29, 2006 at 7:45 am

There appears to be an error in the introduction to this theatre. It did not premiere LONESOME COWBOYS. 55th Street Playhouse and the Warhol GARRICK in the Village did.

I think the confusion comes from the another nearby theatre, the Henry Miller owned HUDSON on 44th Street. In 1967 that theatre premiered Andy Warhol’s MY HUSTLER, I- A MAN and BIKE BOY.

Aside from gay porn, the Henry Miller’s life as a cinema consisted of two upscale long runs. LA DOLCE VITA and LES LIAISONS DANGEROUSES.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on October 27, 2005 at 5:41 am

Going back to Ian’s August 18th… can anyone confirm that original elements of Henry Miller’s Theater will indeed be used in the creation of the new space? One evening a couple of weeks back, I attended an “open house” of the Repertory School of New York (a new dramatic arts High School) with my daughter. The school occupies space a couple of floors above Town Hall across the street from the remains of the Henry Miller. As has been mentioned here before, it is quite an odd site to see a single facade wall standing (well, supported by scaffolding and some sort of reinforcement skeleton) in the middle of the block with absolutely nothing but a big crater all around it.

frankie
frankie on October 27, 2005 at 5:10 am

In 1961 I saw a matinee of Bette Davis in “The World of Carl Sandburg” and actually got her autograph at the stage door. Little did she know —– one year later —– Baby Jane !!! In ‘64 I was in college when Alan Arkin played here in “Enter Laughing.” Thay had some seats for $1.00 and $2.00 !!! I took my cousin Diana and sprung for the $2.00 seats !!! Can you imagine, folks ???