Winter Garden Theatre

1634 Broadway,
New York, NY 10019

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Winter Garden Theatre exterior

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 86 comments)

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).

AlAlvarez 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.

Tinseltoes on April 17, 2011 at 8:00 am

“Hellzapoppin” was actually a “move-over” to the Winter Garden from the 46th Street Theatre, where it opened in 1938 and ran for three months before the WG transfer. It remained at the Winter Garden for three years, and was replaced by a new Olsen & Johnson revue entitled “Sons O' Fun” in December, 1941.

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.

Tinseltoes on June 3, 2011 at 11:35 am

Introductory Google Maps view shows the secondary Seventh Avenue side of the Winter Garden. The main entrance and main marquee are on Broadway.

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.

Tinseltoes on June 8, 2012 at 1:18 pm

The Winter Garden is featured at top left in this four-way 1930 trade ad for Warner Brothers-First National hits in the Vitaphone process. “Sally” was also entirely in Technicolor, and presented stage star Marilyn Miller in her movie debut: archive

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.

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