New York is famous for so many things and one of the best is its vibrant theatre district. Whether that district is strictly about Broadway or off-Broadway or even off-off-Broadway and beyond, these amazing structures house all different types of performances. Some of those theatres are significant for their style, some for their history, some for their architecture, and some for the productions that call them home. From their historical significance to their architectural significance to their popularity, in a city filled with theatres and performance spaces, these are the stand-outs and our picks for the best theatres in New York.
Radio City Music Hall
While it’s an obvious and likely choice, our inclusion of Radio City Music Hall is still a must on a list when discussing the best theatres in New York. Completed in 1932 in an art deco style designed by architect Edward Durell Stone and interior designer Donald Deskey, Radio City Music Hall was at one time the leading tourist destination in New York and was given the nickname of Showplace of the Nation. As part of Rockefeller Center, it is still a popular site to see and experience in the city.
New Amsterdam Theatre
Home to Aladdin since 2014, the New Amsterdam Theatre is one of the city’s oldest continuously operating theatres. Opening in 1903, the New Amsterdam is a Beaux-Arts style structure designed by architects Herts & Tallant. When the theatre opened, it was immediately dubbed “The House Beautiful” and today, it remains that and since its beginning, its stage has seen everything from The Ziegfeld Follies to The Lion King.
You may have only heard of this theatre because of Bravo’s “Inside the Actors Studio”, but its significance is great nonetheless. The Actors Studio is a membership organization that operates out of the studio that is in the Neoclassical style dating back to 1850 though, the architect is unknown.
Established in 1891, Carnegie Hall is a national historic landmark that you can tour even if you don’t want to see a performance. The main hall was renovated in 1986 and the tower was renovated in 1990. Thus reviving the Renaissance Revival style of the brick building ensuring future generations’ enjoyment of this amazing structure. It is also known as one of the most famous concert halls in the world. Its stage has hosted world-renowned artists including George Gershwin, Maurice Ravel, Peter Tchaikovsky, and Igor Stravinsky.
Another Herts & Tallant design and another Beaux-Arts style, the Lyceum opened in 1903 and is another one of the longest continuously operating theatres in New York and has the distinction of being one of the few operating under its original name. Currently playing at the Lyceum is The Play That Goes Wrong.
Any visit to New York should include a visit to as many theatres as possible including these. While you’re there, we recommend seeing as many productions as you can. Need more options? Try our article on where to find highbrow theatre in New York. So, which of these famous theatres have you been to? Any others on your must visit list when you are in the Big Apple?