Al Hirschfeld Theatre – Broadway
Located on West 45th west of Eighth Avenue, this building originally opened for business as the Martin Beck Theatre in 1924. Since 2003 it has been known as the Al Hirschfeld, after the immensely prolific and long-lived theater caricaturist. Seating capacity is 1,292 for plays and 1,282 for musicals.
View Larger Map
|302 West 45th Street, (between 8th Ave & 9th Ave) New York, NY 10036|
|Subway: A, C, E to 42nd St–Port Authority; N, Q, R, 42nd St S, 1, 2, 3, 7 to 42nd St–Times Square|
|Monday – Saturday: 10am – 8pm – Sunday: Noon – 6pm|
|Theatre is not completely wheelchair accessible. There are no steps into the theatre from the sidewalk. Please be advised that where there are steps either into or within the theatre they are unable to provide assistance.|
|Seating is accessible to all parts of the Orchestra without steps. There are no steps to the designated wheelchair seating locations. Wheelchair seating is in the Orchestra only.|
|There is a wheelchair accessible unisex restroom located on the main level.|
The Al Hirschfeld Theatre is a Broadway theatre located at 302 West 45th Street in midtown Manhattan.
Designed by architect G. Albert Lansburgh for vaudeville promoter Martin Beck, the theatre opened as the Martin Beck Theatre with a production of Madame Pompadour on November 11, 1924. It was the only theatre in New York that was owned outright without a mortgage. It was designed to be the most opulent theatre of its time, and has dressing rooms for 200 actors. The theatre has a seating capacity of 1,424 for musicals.
Famous appearances include Basil Rathbone as Romeo with Katharine Cornell as Juliet in December 1934; Burgess Meredith as Mio in Winterset in 1935; Richard Gere in Bent; Frank Langella in Dracula; Elizabeth Taylor in The Little Foxes; Christina Applegate as the title role in Sweet Charity; David Hyde Pierce as Lt. Coffi in the musical Curtains; and Daniel Radcliffe in the latest revival of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.
On June 21, 2003, it was renamed the Al Hirschfeld Theatre in honor of the caricaturist famous for his drawings of Broadway celebrities, and reopened on November 23, 2003, with a revival of the musical Wonderful Town.
This is one of five theatres owned and operated by Jujamcyn Theatres, who purchased it in 1965 from the Beck family.
In late 2002, Jujamcyn Theatres announced that the Martin Beck Theatre would be renamed in June 2003 in honor of illustrator Al Hirschfeld, as Hirschfeld approached his 100th birthday. Jujamcyn President Rocco Landesman described the renaming as “an important event for the history and heritage of Broadway.”  Landesman stated that “No one working in our world is more deserving than Al Hirschfeld.” Notably, Hirschfeld has become the only visual artist to have a Broadway theater named after him. James H. Binger, Chairman of Jujamcyn, explained that because Hirschfeld “started working in New York only two years after the Martin Beck Theatre was built, it seems wholly appropriate that the building bear his name–they have shared the street during Broadway’s golden age and beyond.”  In order to reflect how Hirschfeld’s career spanned the Martin Beck’s years of operation, a gallery was installed in the mezzanine which features 22 reproductions of the artist’s drawings portraying plays and actors who appeared at the theater.
Although Hirschfeld died prior to the official renaming on June 23, 2003, he knew that he would be receiving the honor. A celebration and tribute to Hirschfeld was held on the evening of the renaming, featuring performers such as Carol Channing, Matthew Broderick, Barbara Cook, playwright Arthur Miller, and many other figures drawn by Hirschfeld during their careers. Hirschfeld’s traditional aisle seat was left vacant in his honor during the presentation. The tribute opened with a screen projection of Hirschfeld’s Self-Portrait As An Inkwell, in which the artist portrays himself in his creative process and showcases his distinctive use of crow quill pen and Higgins India Ink in his drawings.
The theater constructed a new marquee to mark its renaming, featuring an illuminated version of Hirschfeld’s Self-Portrait As An Inkwell.  West 45th Street between Eighth and Ninth Avenues was closed to traffic for the unveiling of the new marquee. The marquee was initially installed with red neon representing the “ink,” but blue neon was later substituted because the red was perceived by some as “macabre”.
1931: The House of Connelly
1934: The Pirates of Penzance, H.M.S. Pinafore, The Mikado
1934: Romeo and Juliet
1936 and 1939: Seasons of Gilbert and Sullivan
1937: High Tor
1939: Ladies and Gentlemen
1940: Cabin in the Sky
1941: Watch on the Rhine
1942: My Sister Eileen
1943: The Corn Is Green
1945: On the Town
1946: The Iceman Cometh
1947: Antony and Cleopatra
1951: The Rose Tattoo
1953: The Crucible
1953: The Teahouse of the August Moon
1957: Orpheus Descending
1959: Sweet Bird of Youth
1960: Bye Bye Birdie
1961: Milk and Honey; The Happiest Girl in the World
1964: I Had a Ball
1966: A Delicate Balance
1967: Hallelujah, Baby!
1968: Man of La Mancha (Transferred from ANTA Washington Sq Theatre, playing since 1965)
1980: Onward Victoria
1981: The Little Foxes
1982: Come Back to the Five and Dime Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean
1984: The Rink
1985: Take Me Along
1987: Into the Woods
1989: Grand Hotel
1992: Guys and Dolls
1995: Moon Over Buffalo
1998: The Sound of Music
1999: Kiss Me, Kate
2002: Man of La Mancha
2003: Wonderful Town
2005: Sweet Charity
2006: The Wedding Singer
2008: A Tale of Two Cities
2010: Elf the Musical
2011: How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (Closed May 20, 2012)
2012: Fela! (Limited Engagement July–August 2012)
2012: Elf the Musical
2013: Kinky Boots
Theater Talk: Al Hirschfeld, the late Broadway caricaturist (2011)
- 3-M CHIEF BUYING THE MARTIN BECK
- Jacobs, Leonard, Backstage.com
- Windman, Matt, Theatermania.com
- Jacobs, Backstage.com
- Windman, Theatermania.com
- Pogrebin, Robin, New York Times
- Simonson, Robert.Playbill.com Archived 2014-02-22 at the Wayback Machine.
- Pogrebin, New York Times
- Buckley, Michael and Portantiere, Michael, Theatermania.com
- Rizzo, Frank, The Courant
- Simonson, Robert, Playbill.com Archived 2014-02-22 at the Wayback Machine.
- Pogrebin, New York Times
- Playbill.com Archived 2013-11-05 at the Wayback Machine.
- BWW News Desk , broadwayworld.com