Davenport Theatre

The Davenport Theatre was an Off-Broadway theater venue located at 354 West 45th Street between Eighth and Ninth Avenues in the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City. It was operated by Off-Broadway producer Ken Davenport in a building owned by Gran Logia de Lengua Española Vales De Nueva York.

Davenport Theatre
45th Street Theatre
Address354 West 45th Street
New York City
United States
Coordinates40.760065°N 73.990536°W / 40.760065; -73.990536
OperatorKen Davenport
TypeOff-Broadway
Capacity149 (Main Stage)
99 (The Loft)

Previously called the 45th Street Theatre,[1] the Davenport Theatre was leased by producer Ken Davenport in 2014 and renamed after his great-grandfather, Delbert Essex Davenport, a producer, publicist, and author in the early 1900s.[2]

The Davenport Theatre had two performances spaces, a 149-seat main stage on the ground floor and a 99-seat black box recently renovated and renamed, The Loft at the Davenport Theatre on the third floor.

In 2019, the theater was converted to NYC Tango, a dance hall.[3]

Theatre history

  • 1984–2004 – Primary Stages
  • 2007–2012 – 45th Street Theatre (some overlap with Primary Stages)
  • 2013 – New Theatre at 45th Street[4]
  • 2014– 2018 – Davenport Theatre
  • 2019 – New York City Tango

Building history

The five-story building was built in 1915 as an electric substation by the United Electric Light & Power Company which promoted Alternating current in the War of the Currents while New York Edison was promoting direct current. Although the direct current standard lost to ac in the war Edison had continued to electrify lower Manhattan with direct current and accounted for 90 percent of the electric power at the time against United's 10 percent. The substation in particular was aimed at providing reliable power to Broadway theatres and Times Square signs at a time when most theatres had direct current.[5] In 1928 New York Edison began the process to adopt the AC standard and by 1935 had totally acquired United.[6][7]

After the building was decommissioned as a substation it became a Masonic Lodge. The masonic emblem with the inscription "Gran Logia de Lengua Española Vales De Nueva York" still hangs over the entrance and the abbreviation ALGDGADU is also above the entrance.[6] The abbreviation is interpreted from Spanish "A La Gloria Del Gran Arquitecto Del Universo" to say "to the Glory of the Great Architect of the Universe."[8][9]

According to the building's certificate of occupancy from 1959, the space was intended to be used as offices and a recording studio [10] and had been used illegally as a theater space for several decades.[11]

As of September 2019, the theater portion of the building was converted to the New York City Tango dance hall.

Productions

Selected productions at the Davenport Theatre.[1][12]

ProductionOpenedClosed
Popcorn FallsOctober 8, 2019Nov 25, 2018
Operation CrucibleOctober 31, 2018
Once a Year on Blackpool SandsSeptember 4, 2018September 10, 2018
AfterglowJuly 24, 2017TBD
Endangered!July 10, 2017TBD
Money TalksJuly 10, 2017September 30, 2017
Shear MadnessJuly 15, 2016April 23, 2017
Daddy Long LegsSeptember 28, 2015June 6, 2016
Men and Women Talking Love and SexDecember 5, 2014February 14, 2015
PageantJuly 14, 2014October 26, 2014
Forbidden Broadway Comes Out Swinging!May 4, 2014July 20, 2014
Around the World in 80 Days (as the New Theater)June 4, 2013October 13, 2013
Wanda's World (as the 45th Street Theatre)January 23, 2008February 10, 2008
Idol: The Musical (as the 45th Street Theatre)August 12, 2007August 12, 2007
Jayson (as the 45th Street Theatre)July 10, 1998August 16, 1998
Golden Boy (as the 45th Street Theatre)November 19, 1995December 16, 1995
We'll Meet Again (as the 45th Street Theatre)July 27, 1995October 1, 1995
Awake and Sing! (as the 45th Street Theatre)July 6, 1993July 25, 1993
The Brooklyn Trojan Women (as the 45th Street Theatre)June 1, 1993June 30, 1993

References

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