Winter Garden Theatre

1634 Broadway,
New York, NY 10019

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Winter Garden Theatre

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Best known as the home of “Cats”, which ran for 19 years, the Winter Garden was once home to movies as well.

Beginning as a live theater venue, the theater switched to film in 1928, then back to live theater in 1933. Although movies returned to the Winter Garden in 1945, the three year run would be the last time movies would be a staple of the theater’s program.

The Winter Garden was renovated in 1980 and opened “Cats” in 1982 and became the longest running show in Broadway history. “Cats” finally closed in September 2000 and the theater closed for renovations. It reopened in 2001, renamed the Cadillac Winter Garden Theatre (due to Cadillac’s winning naming rights), with the ABBA-inspired musical, “Mamma Mia!” which is still playing here today. The Cadillac name was removed from the theater’s name at the end of 2006, and is once again going by its original name.

Contributed by Ross Melnick

Recent comments (view all 67 comments)

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on April 12, 2011 at 1:56 pm

It’s nice to see a little action on a thread other than the usual suspects.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on April 12, 2011 at 8:02 pm

Going back to IBDB.COM, “The Greenwich Village Follies” closed at the Winter Garden on July 28, 1928 and was the last live stage presentation until the musical comedy “Hold Your Horses” opened here on September 25, 1933. Not sure how long the cinematic engagement of “Grand Slam” lasted, but seems like the theater stood vacant for quite a while before re-opening as a live venue in ‘33 (at the height of the Depression, no less).

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on April 12, 2011 at 8:25 pm

“GRAND SLAM” was a one week run.

Brad Smith
Brad Smith on April 17, 2011 at 6:53 am

This photograph and this photograph of the Winter Garden Theatre were taken in 1940 by George Mann of the comedy dance team, Barto and Mann.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on April 17, 2011 at 8:07 pm

I recall my grandfather telling me that “Hellzapoppin” was, without doubt, the funniest live performance of any kind he had ever attended. I don’t know if he saw it at the Winter Garden or the 46th Street Theater. “Hellzapoppin” moved over to the Majestic for its last month or so, presumably to clear the Winter Garden for rehearsals of “Sons O'Fun.” You have to wonder how O & J found time to film the cinematic version of “Hellzapoppin,” which was released in time for Christmas of 1941.

Just to complete the circle, “Sons of Fun” eventually moved out of the Winter Garden and transferred to the 46th Street Theatre to complete its very successful 21-month run.

TLSLOEWS on May 4, 2011 at 9:13 am

Lots of great photos and history on this page.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on June 3, 2011 at 12:37 pm

Looks like someone already “corrected” the street view so it can’t be adjusted to the proper main entrance around the block on Broadway.

moviebuff82 on December 30, 2013 at 1:48 pm

As a kid, I always wanted to see “Cats” on broadway based on the memorable ads on tv with the yellow cats' eyes and the footage from the musical. When I saw it on tv, i thought it was silly.

DavidZornig on October 2, 2015 at 6:13 pm

Circa 1958 photo added courtesy of Stephen P Talaga.

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