44th St. Theatre / NYC

216 West 44th Street; NYC (demolished 1945)

from Wikipedia:

The 44th Street Theatre was located at 216 West 44th Street in New York City.
The architect was William A. Swansea. Built by The Shubert Organization in 1912,
it was first named Weber and Fields' Music Hall. The theatre was renamed in 1915
when the comedy duo of Joe Weber and Lew Fields split with the Shuberts.

A theatre on the roof of the building, Lew Fields' 44th Street Roof Garden,
became the Nora Bayes Theatre in 1918. In the mid-1930s it presented Federal Theatre Project shows.

In the basement of the 44th Street Theatre was a small nightclub, probably a speakeasy during Prohibition.
In 1940 the building was purchased by The New York Times Company, which leased it back to Lee Shubert
. When the American Theatre Wing requested the basement club as an entertainment venue for servicemen.

Shubert gave them the property without charge. In March 1942 the 40-by-80-foot club space became the
original Stage Door Canteen, which operated throughout World War II, became the subject of a popular film,
and inspired other canteens throughout the United States.

After Shubert's lease expired in June 1945, the building was demolished. The New York Times printing
plant built to replace the 44th Street Theatre was later abandoned, but a plaque remains to mark the
location of the Stage Door Canteen.

Bing Crosby singing at the Stage Door Canteen.

- diagram of theatre -

Programs available from this theatre:

  • A Night In Spain (1927)

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