Colonial Theatre

1887 Broadway,
New York, NY 10023

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chris319 on August 3, 2013 at 11:52 pm

The Price Is Right with Bill Cullen originated in color on NBC from the Colonial. NBC and its owner RCA also used the Colonial as a test studio when they were developing color television. When NBC cancelled The Price Is Right in 1963, the show moved to ABC and the Ritz theater, reverting to black and white after several years in color. ABC cancelled the show in 1965 and it moved to Hollywood and CBS in 1972.

sparker on April 24, 2013 at 3:36 pm

Wasent the old Miton Berle show broadcast from the Colonial? I also remember seeing a taping of the Jimmy Dean Show back in the 60’s.

rivoli157 on November 18, 2011 at 10:36 am

“Robber Bridegroom” with Patti LuPone, and “So Long 174th St.” were some of the last legit shows. I too saw a taping of “Dream House” on a class trip- if I recall at that time all orch seats were taken out to accomodate cameras, cables, electrics and the like

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on February 6, 2010 at 8:43 pm

It was closed and leased to NBC in 1951, not 1956.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on February 6, 2010 at 8:40 pm

The Colonial showed movies occasionally before the RKO take-over in September 1931.

Nando0129 on February 6, 2010 at 1:01 am

I remember cutting class from HAAREN H.S. just to watch the taping of the DICK CAVETT SHOW at the ABC Colonial Theater; I believe he would tape at 10:30am. At the same theater, I also got to see the taping of DREAM HOUSE, a game show in which contestants would win a house, one room at a time. No tickets needed for either show! I really should have been in school, though. Hey, what can I say – it was fun!

robboehm on March 6, 2009 at 10:40 pm

I visited this theatre twice: for the taping of a Steve Allen show and then, later as the Harkness for the Robber Bridegroom with Barry Bostwick of Rocky Horror (and now “the Voice)fame.

One of the features of the new public area is a rock climbing wall. On the handful of occasions I’ve been past there are actually people trying to climb the wall.

shoeshoe14 on July 9, 2007 at 7:32 pm

This was mentioned by Bob Hope on the Dick Cavett Show DVD.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on March 1, 2007 at 10:40 am

Thanks, Howard Becker. I wish I had (or would find) more photos of the area during the 1970’s. My memories are so fuzzy and fleeting. But, thanks to this site, many of them are coming into much clearer focus now.

videopro on February 28, 2007 at 9:32 pm

Cavett’s show moved from the Colonial to the ABC’s Elysee Theater on West 58th Street off 7th Avenue.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on September 22, 2006 at 6:53 pm

Dick Cavett’s late night talk show on ABC was taped here in it’s early stages. I’m not sure where it moved from there, but I recently caught a broadcast of the 1970 show with Robert Mitchum on TCM and in his monologue, Cavett makes a joke about the old “dump” they used to tape at (and offscreen staffer is heard to yell out “The Colonial”) when he can’t come up with the name. I remember as a child and teenager seeing one or two theater-like marquees for ABC and CBS TV studios around the upper Times Square area, and I now know many of these were former stage or vaudeville houses.

Cavett also jokes about the rickety balcony of the new theater he was presently occupying, assuring the mezzanine audience that at least THEY didn’t have to worry about the orchestra falling upon them. I wonder which theater that one was.

stepale2 on July 21, 2006 at 7:35 pm

When the original Price is Right was on NBC (with Bill Cullen), it was a daily program originating from the Hudson Theatre on West 44th Street. It was also in black and white. When they added the color version, which was broadcast once a week and in the evening, this version came from the Colonial Theatre in the 1950s and early 60s, before the program moved to CBS where it was broadcast from Television City in Hollywood (with Bob Barker).

RobertR on July 25, 2005 at 2:57 pm

Summer 1949 the Colonial was part of the RKO neighborhood run of “Flamingo Road”.
View link

Paul Noble
Paul Noble on March 31, 2005 at 5:15 pm

I looked up the Harkness in the Internet Broadway database. Here are the plays presented at the theatre in the mid-70’s: The Robber Bridegroom, Edward II, The time of Your Life, Three Sisters, Sweet Bird of Youth. The final two shows were So Long, 174th Street and Ipi-Tombi, both original musicals in 1976 and 77.

Paul Noble
Paul Noble on March 31, 2005 at 5:10 pm

The Actors Company, under the supervision of John Houseman, presented several plays in repertory, probably in the 70’s.

richarddziadzio on May 31, 2002 at 1:24 pm

I believe NBC did the original “Price Is Right” with Bill Cullen here in the 1950’s.