Samuel J. Friedman Theater
261 W. 47th Street,
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One of six legitimate theatres built by the Chanin Brothers, the Biltmore Theatre opened on December 7, 1925. It has one balcony. The historic Soviet-era film "The Battleship Potemkin", with live orchestral accompaniment, premiered in December, 1926, and was presented on a reserved-seat basis. "The Battleship Potemkin", one of the greatest of cinema classics is the acme of the career of director Sergei Eisenstein, and unveiled his sophisticated editing techniques which were to revolutionize the industry. Landmark plays presented here include "Brother Rat", "My Sister Eileen", "Kiss and Tell", "No Exit", "The Heiress", "Billy Budd", "Barefoot in the Park", "Hair", and "Deathtrap".
The Biltmore Theatre was little used in the 1980’s and was sold to a developer. In December 1987, just two days after the interior had been given Landmark designation, arsonists set fires on the stage and inside the auditorium. Vandalised over the following years, the theatre was declared unsafe.
In 1993, the Biltmore Theatre was purchased by the Nederlander Organisation, but after four years of inactivity, they sold it on. It was eventually renovated in 2006, and the Manhattan Theater Club has produced the theater’s offerings since then.
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