Lunt-Fontanne Theatre

205 West 46th Street,
New York, NY 10036

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Opened on January 10, 1910 as the Globe Theatre for producer and theater manager Charles Dillingham, this 1,475-seat theater was designed in Neo-Renaissance style by the firm of Carrere & Hastings. It had two entrances, a narrow one at 1555 Broadway, the other at 203-217 W. 46th Street.

It originally was a venue for legitimate theater, until closing in 1931.

It served as a movie house from 1935 until 1957.

Acquired by City Playhouses, Inc. in 1957, it was renovated and renamed the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, after the famed husband-and-wife stage actors, returning to its pre-1935 use. At the same time, the main entrance was moved from Broadway to the former side entrance on W. 46th Street.

The theater became part of the Nederlander Organization in 1973. Marlene Dietrich, Peggy Lee and Carol Channing have all appeared on the Lunt-Fontanne’s stage.

The theater received an extensive restoration from 1997-99, which returned it to its original appearance, reopening with Disney’s stage version of “Beauty and the Beast”.

Contributed by Bryan Kreffft

Recent comments (view all 61 comments)

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on November 4, 2009 at 12:03 pm

I just found a blurb in an old copy of MARQUEE (Volume 18, 1986) that mentions the Robert F. Kennedy Children’s theatre which was showing films in 1976. It states that the RFK was actually the Walter Kerr/Ritz at 219 West 46th Street and not this location.

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on November 4, 2009 at 1:00 pm

Cool find, LM. It appears these facts were always there if you know where to look.

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on November 4, 2009 at 1:54 pm

Porno at the Globe all right then.

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on January 19, 2010 at 10:22 am

Although the intro correctly states that the Globe became a full-time cinema in 1935, from 1927 to 1935 it spent more time each year as a motion picture theatre than as a live venue.

jeffdonaldson
jeffdonaldson on April 23, 2010 at 3:44 pm

Check out Stanley Kubrick’s “Killer’s Kiss” where one scene takes place at night in Times Square. The Globe is playing “How to Marry a Millionaire in 1953. The action goes indoors for a minute then is outside again and the Globe is now playing "Beachhead” with Tony Curtis, from 1954. Guess it didn’t take Kubrick two years to shoot the film, but apparently it did take a while.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on November 10, 2010 at 7:43 am

Re-posted from Vito’s post today on the Loew’s State page:

Nov. 10th: On this date in 1953 the second picture released in CinemaScope opened simultaneously at the Loew’s State and Brandt’s Globe.

I believe “How to Marry a Millionaire” was actually the first movie filmed in Scope but Zanuck in his wisdom decided to release “The Robe” first to introduce the miracle you see without glasses.

View link

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on May 15, 2012 at 1:31 pm

I like that you can see a little bit of Horn & Hardart there on the right.

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on September 18, 2012 at 9:32 am

I was just reading a 1989 NYT article about the Nederlander organization looking for a movie multiplex operator to split it up because the theatre was too narrow and therefore awkward for live musical theatre. Here we are twenty three years later.

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on October 26, 2012 at 5:47 am

A February 1, 1998 NYT article on this theatre mentions that it opened with a feature unique to Broadway history. As a tribute to its namesake, the open-air Shakespeare Globe in London, this Globe had a sliding roof that could open up to the sky on hot weather days. They speculate that soot and litter may have limited the use as it was a problem for other nearby roof top operations.

The article also mentions that the theatre had “seats for fat men”.

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