Hammerstein Ballroom

The Hammerstein Ballroom is a 12,000-square-foot (1,100 m2) ballroom located within the Manhattan Center at 311 West 34th Street in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. The capacity of the ballroom is dependent on the configuration of the room; it seats 2,500 people for theatrical productions and musical performances, and several thousand for events held within a central ring. The floor of the ballroom is flat.[3] The two main balconies – which are unusually close to the ground and gently sloped – seat a total of 1,200. The third balcony has been stripped of seats and is not used. [4]

Hammerstein Ballroom
LocationManhattan Center
311 West 34th Street
Manhattan, New York City
Public transitNew York City Subway: at 34th Street-Penn Station
at 34th Street-Penn Station
Amtrak, LIRR, NJ Transit at Penn Station
New York City Bus: M7, M20, M34 SBS, M34A SBS
OwnerUnification Church[1]
TypeMusic
Capacity2,200 (Reception/Theater Style)
1,000 (Seated Dinner)
3,500 (Standing/Concerts)
Construction
Opened1906
Renovated1997[2]
Website
www.mcstudios.com/the-hammerstein

History

The Manhattan Center was constructed in 1906 by Oscar Hammerstein I as the Manhattan Opera House, the home for his Manhattan Opera Company, an alternative to the popular yet comparatively expensive Metropolitan Opera.[2] In 1910, the Metropolitan Opera paid Hammerstein $1.2 million to stop operating the Manhattan Opera House as an opera venue for ten years. This led to the elaborately decorated theater being used for a variety of events, including vaudeville.[2]

The ownership of the center changed hands multiple times over the next few decades, with the theater being converted into a large ballroom and being used as a Freemason's temple in the 1930s and a trade union headquarters in the 1940s before falling into disuse in the 1970s, before being bought by Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church, the ballroom's current owner. The building was renamed Manhattan Center Studios in 1986, and in 1997 the former theater was renamed the Hammerstein Ballroom and underwent extensive renovation, with the hand painted ceiling being completely restored.[2]

Notable events

The Hammerstein Ballroom has seen performances from a wide variety of musical acts and its popularity has varied over the years due mainly to competition within the neighborhood.[5]

See also

References

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