Lunt-Fontanne Theatre

205 West 46th Street,
New York, NY 10036

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Man in Times Square January 11, 1934 Photo credit & courtesy of Duke University Collection.

Viewing: Photo | Street View

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 68 comments)

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.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez 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.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez 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”.

DavidZornig on April 9, 2015 at 9:04 am

Circa 1931 photo added courtesy of the Vintage Vortex Facebook page.

robboehm on April 9, 2015 at 11:09 am

New show due to open at the theater. Really miss the Automats though more than a lot of the theaters on this site.

DavidZornig on July 15, 2015 at 4:39 pm

1945 photo added, credit LIFE Magazine.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on July 15, 2015 at 9:24 pm

Great photo! Thanks David & LIFE.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on July 16, 2015 at 9:00 am

I added a comment on the photo posted March 29, 2014…

DavidZornig on November 13, 2015 at 9:24 pm

This link about the history of the neighboring Automat may be of interest of some.
It also had a rendering of the intersection.

Comfortably Cool
Comfortably Cool on April 21, 2016 at 1:32 pm

The “last picture show” at the Globe Theatre was Elia Kazan’s “A Face In The Crowd,” which opened with a world premiere performance on May 28th, 1957, and ran for nine weeks, closing on July 28th, according to Variety. Images have been posted in the Photos Section.

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