Hudson Theatre

141 W. 44th Street,
New York, NY 10036

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Showing 1 - 25 of 36 comments

wally 75
wally 75 on March 16, 2013 at 7:47 pm

I love photos like that…thanks

Ian on March 15, 2013 at 2:13 am

Two photos of the interior of the Hudson before the recent renovation took place:–

HUDSON THEATRE – view to stage

HUDSON THEATRE – view from stage

robboehm on June 13, 2012 at 5:43 pm

Don’t bet on it.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on June 13, 2012 at 3:17 pm

Hey robboehm. Looks like the CT user who posted it, removed the image. I had mentioned on the Henry Miller page that it should be re-posted here. They’ll probably upload it correctly soon enough.

robboehm on June 13, 2012 at 7:21 am

Not accessing, Ed. Says the page I’m looking for doesn’t exist.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on June 13, 2012 at 5:59 am

Here’s a porn-era pic that was mistakenly posted to the Henry Miller’s Theatre page.

wally 75
wally 75 on March 28, 2011 at 8:15 pm

Is this the Hudson they used on last sundays Trump show?

robboehm on October 10, 2010 at 3:38 am

What a wonderful site and history of the theatre and Elvis, too. I was in the Hudson for a performance of Toys in the Attic and it was just a gray lady at that time. I wonder if they let you peak into the theatre now when nothing is going on. It looks spectacular.

CSWalczak on October 9, 2010 at 11:05 pm

This page has a number of pictures of the Hudson:

robboehm on September 29, 2010 at 6:13 pm

The only Steven Allen program I ever attended was at the Colonial which went legit as the Harkness which was torn down and replaced by an atrium with a rock climbing wall.

mrbillyc on March 24, 2009 at 10:24 am

Anyone catch Regis Philbin reminiscing last night (Monday 3/23/09) on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon about his days as an NBC page? He talked about working at this theater when Steve Allen Show was in production. He mentioned the people on the program, Steve & Edie; Tom Posten, Louie Nye & Bill Dana; being in the balcony and looking down on Steve Allen playing the piano.
Cool Stuff!

robboehm on March 6, 2009 at 7:55 pm

After many years as a tv studio the Hudson was renovated and returned to the legitimate stage. I believe the first play after the reopening was Toys in the Attic. I know it was the first one I
saw there.

I’m happy to see it’s new life. When I was last in the area I saw the marquee for the Hudson but didn’t know it had been incorporated into the hotel. A shame it’s not open to the general public, it was just a gray space after it was returned to the legitimate theatre.

gd14lawn on March 4, 2009 at 5:13 pm

Is this the theater that Comdy Central uses to film many of it’s stand up comedy shows?

Ian on March 15, 2007 at 1:16 pm

A few more photos of the Hudson here:–

View link

View link
View link

singinjohnny on October 14, 2006 at 3:34 pm

I was at the NBC Colonial Theater around 1960-61 with my parents and brother when we went to see a televising of “The Price is Right” with Bill Cullen at that time. Before the show started, I can remember seeing none other than Don Pardo standing on a tall stepladder that he used in order to be readily visible to the portion of the audience sitting up in the balcony. He was “warming up” the audience instructing us regarding applauding only when the flashing “applause” sign would be illuminated. The show was indeed in color as the RCA color cameras were HUGE compared with the size of a color television camera today. I was completely taken with the behind-the-scenes activity and the technology behind putting on a television show and was utterly dumbfounded with fascination. This is a first-hand account. I am now 56 years old and remember this as if it were last week.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on September 22, 2006 at 3:35 pm

Rosalyn Regeson wrote an article titled “Where Are ‘The Chelsea Girls’ Taking Us?” and published on 9/24/67 about the then-bourgeoning exhibition of underground cinema in NYC. The piece makes mention of the Hudson Theater “giving itself over to [Andy] Warhol’s films exclusively as a result of the successful 7-week run of ‘My Hustler.’”

More from that paragraph:

“The current offering is ‘I, A Man,’ a Warhol – eye view of sex between the sexes, parodying a current Swedish import about a nymphomaniac. Opening Thursday is ‘Dope,’ the title referring not to narcotics but the mentality of the motorcyclist hero.”

stepale2 on February 5, 2006 at 8:05 pm

Bill Cullen hosted The Price is Right from the Hudson before the program moved to the Colonial Theater where it was broadcast in color. This waa before the program moved to CBS and the west coast. Trust me, I know of which I speak (or write!)

Patsy on July 11, 2005 at 3:02 am

A friend of mine sent me an article about this theatre so I then decided to check it out here. If you are in NYC, check it out!

Benjamin on July 2, 2005 at 7:31 am

Great articles everyone — thanks for sharing! Just a minor correction and some general thoughts:

The very minor correction to the July 1, 2005, AP article by Ula Ilnytsky that was published on Centre“Tiffany mosaic tiles found during theater’s restoration”) is that I doubt Bob Barker ever did the “Price is Right” from the Hudson Theater. I believe Bob Barker did (or still does?) his version of the “Price is Right” from the West Coast. The original host of the “Price is Right” was, I believe, Bill Cullen. His version of the “Price is Right” was broadcast from the Colonial Theater on Broadway and about 61st (?) St. While it’s possible that he did his show from the Hudson, and I guess it’s possible that Bob Barker at one time did TV from NY, I tend to doubt that either was true. I think Bill Cullen did the show from the Colonial Theater during its entire run in New York.

While this is indeed a very minor correction to the excellent article, I mention it for two reasons:

1) To keep the record straight. Incorrect facts that are uncorrected have a way of becoming set in stone and sometimes even expanding. Before you know it, people will be saying that Bob Barker did “Truth or Consequences” and “This is Your Life” from the Hudson! Then someone will start saying that Art Linkletter did “Houseparty” from there also!!

2) It’s interesting to consider how these errors — which I have also made — get started in the first place. Don’t know who supplied the writer with this info or whatever info that would have led the writer to believe this, but I suspect the writer was told that the theater was an NBC studio (true) and that “The Price is Right” is one of the NBC shows that were being broadcast from New York theaters at the time (true). And since the author is probably too young to remember Bill Cullen in “The Price is Right,” she probably extrapolated backward and wrote that it was Bob Barker who did the show there.

General thought: It’s interesting to me that the Hudson Theater was landmarked at all. Although I happen to like its two facades (44th St. and 45th St.) for my own reasons, the 44th St. facade strikes me as being very modest and not distinguished enough for most preservationists, and the 45th St. facade is essentially just a large brick wall that is actually the back wall of the stage house. (I happen to think that the dressing room windows and the fire escapes give this stagehouse wall an unusually nice urban scale, but I’d be very surprised if this was a reason given for landmarking the building!)

Plus, given the fact that people seem surprised about the hidden tiles, the interior didn’t seem to have all that much going for it either. I realize it had those Tiffany domes, but it seems a lot of similar places have had similar domes, interior decoration removed to other locations. It also had, I realize, its somewhat unusual (but not really all that overwhelming) lighting scheme.

My guess is that the Hudson may have benefitted to some degree from having ownership that was either not powerful or not opposed to landmarking, being modern enough to make landmarking it defensible (e.g., I believe its balcony is cantilevered enough to avoid view obstructing posts below), unchanged enough to maintain whatever architectural distinction it had in the first place, and old enough to be valued as an antique from another era (a time capsule from the Edwardian era).

In a sense, I am reflecting upon the “real” reasons why the Hudson Theater was landmarked and other theaters (and buildings in general) haven’t been as lucky. Four examples that come immediately to mind: the original Ziegfeld (with a far more architecturally distinguished and spectacular exterior and interiors); the original Helen Hayes(a/k/a Follies Bergere or Fulton) Theater (with a far more architecturally spectacular exterior), the Earl Carroll (more spectacular interiors) and the recently demised Beekman (which was just as architecturally distinguished, so it seems to me, and just as well preserved).

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on July 2, 2005 at 5:41 am

There is an article with color photos in today’s New York Times.

teecee on July 1, 2005 at 8:32 am

Here is the article:
View link

capearsall on July 1, 2005 at 7:26 am

There is an article about the Hudson in the Centre Daily times of State College, PA today with two black and white photos. One is from 1903 of a portion of the viewing boxes, showing the mosaic tiles which originally decorated them. The second is a close-up of the tiles recently uncovered during the renovation which started in November.
Just the black and white shot shows the intricate beauty of the Tiffany mosaics, but I yearn to see it in color. Unable to make the visit myself, but does anyone know if there is a Website that might have color photos?
My best regards to the restorers, there are things worth saving.

chconnol on January 12, 2005 at 9:31 am

Benjamin: Glad I inspired you to take a tour.

The Millenium’s lobby is public space and it’s weird to walk right through there (it’s great on rainy days). Knowing this, I thought it might be easy to get access to the theater and was right. The day I was there, it looked like they were either setting up or dismantling some kind of conference. I got some “looks” but no one seemed to care (I was in a suit) and really, all I was doing was having a look/see. It was so accessible that I could’ve walked up and around the whole theater but I didn’t.

What you mention about how this theater has been re-adapted for use is exactly why I like it.

Benjamin on January 12, 2005 at 9:08 am


Glad you enjoyed the “tour”! As I revisted and reflected upon the Hudson, I really began to appreciate this theater even more.

Regarding gallery entrances:

From my readings over the years, I got the impression that the separate entrances were almost entirely designed for the purpose of economic/social segregation — keeping the poorer classes away from the more well to do. And in the era in which they wre built (pre WWI), I don’t think people really gave it much thought.

Also, and this is just a guess on my part, I think it was really the rise of the (bascially one price) movie theater and the (bascially one price) movie palace that led the way towards the elimination of this type of design — movie palaces being “palaces” for the people, for the masses.

Although I realize that Radio City Music Hall, and probably a number of the other movie palaces, did have higher priced sections, I don’t think any of them had separate entrances for them. And judging from RCMH, the people going to the more expensive section had to walk through the areas set aside for the less expensive seats in the Orchestra and walk along with those headed for the less expensive seats in the second and third balconies.

By the way the first three levels of the old Metropolitan Opera House — the three levels closest to the stage and to the ground — were accessed through the main lobby. (The main lobby was not, by the way, all that impressive to begin with.) These three levels were called, I believe, the Orchestra level, the Parterre (the boxes) and the Grand Tier. Everything above that (from what I believe was called the Family Circle on up) was accessed through a number of separate entrances (which I believe were on the side streets, rather than Broadway).

The Sam S. Shubert theater on 44th St. had a separate 2nd balcony stairway that was entered, if I remember correctly, from Shubert Alley.