Hudson Theatre

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

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Showing 1 - 25 of 38 comments

Hawkshead71
Hawkshead71 on July 23, 2014 at 7:27 am

In recent years, through the intrepid genealogical research of my sister Ada I discovered that a grandfather I never knew was an actor and among various parts was the stage manager for and actor in the role of Andy Oatman in George M Cohan’s production of “The Meanest Man in the World”, which opened at the Hudson, October 12, 1920 and closed in April of 1921 after 202 performances. Cohan himself portrayed the character Richard Clarke. In a review of the play in The New York Tribune of October 13, 1920. The supporting cast was given high marks and my grandfather Howard Boulden(stage name)was noted for a singularly good characterization of the country store clerk. How strange to discover in my senior years this world that I never knew. His daughter by his second marriage to Agnes Evans, broadway and burlesque star, Alice Boulden was a nightclub and broadway musical star of the 1920’s. My siblings and I only knew that my father had a half sister, Alice. She eventually married Joe Cook with whom she co-starred in “Fine and Dandy” in 1930.

Stephen Paley
Stephen Paley on June 13, 2014 at 10:16 am

In 1959, when NBC stopped using the Hudson for broadcasting, they did not move their operations to Los Angeles, as it says in the CT description of the Hudson above. The network always had a presence on the west coast, but the Tonight! show with Jack Paar at the time, was moved to NBC’s Studio 6B in New York’s Rockefeller Center, where it stayed until the mid 70s when Johnny Carson moved the show to Burbank. NBC’s headquarters were always in New York, at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, where they still are located, including many of their television studios.

wally 75
wally 75 on March 16, 2013 at 4:47 pm

I love photos like that…thanks

Ian
Ian on March 14, 2013 at 11:13 pm

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
robboehm on June 13, 2012 at 2:43 pm

Don’t bet on it.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on June 13, 2012 at 12:17 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
robboehm on June 13, 2012 at 4:21 am

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

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on June 13, 2012 at 2:59 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 5:15 pm

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

robboehm
robboehm on October 10, 2010 at 12:38 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
CSWalczak on October 9, 2010 at 8:05 pm

This page has a number of pictures of the Hudson: http://www.scottymoore.net/hudson.html

robboehm
robboehm on September 29, 2010 at 3:13 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
mrbillyc on March 24, 2009 at 7:24 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
robboehm on March 6, 2009 at 5:55 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
gd14lawn on March 4, 2009 at 3:13 pm

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

Ian
Ian on March 15, 2007 at 10:16 am

A few more photos of the Hudson here:–

Exterior:-
View link

Interior:-
View link
View link

singinjohnny
singinjohnny on October 14, 2006 at 12:34 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 12:35 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
stepale2 on February 5, 2006 at 6:05 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
Patsy on July 11, 2005 at 12:02 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
Benjamin on July 2, 2005 at 4:31 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 Daily.com.(“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 2:41 am

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

teecee
teecee on July 1, 2005 at 5:32 am

Here is the article:
View link

capearsall
capearsall on July 1, 2005 at 4:26 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.