Lyric Theatre (New York City, 1998)

The Lyric Theatre (previously known as the Foxwoods Theatre, the Hilton Theatre and the Ford Center for the Performing Arts)[1] is a Broadway theatre located at 214 West 43rd Street in Manhattan, New York City.

Lyric Theatre
Apollo Theatre, Lyric Theatre (predecessors)
Ford Center for the Performing Arts, Hilton Theatre, Foxwoods Theatre
43rd Street entrance
Address214 West 43rd Street, New York City, NY
United States
OwnerCity and State of New York
OperatorAmbassador Theatre Group
TypeBroadway theatre
ProductionHarry Potter and the Cursed Child
OpenedJanuary 18, 1998
Years active1998–Present
ArchitectRichard Blinder
Peter Kofman
New 42nd Street


The theatre was built in 1996–97 on the site of the former Apollo and Lyric Theatres. The Lyric was built in 1903 and hosted Shakespeare plays and such notable new shows as Cole Porter's Fifty Million Frenchmen, until it was converted to a movie theatre in 1934.[2][3] The Apollo, constructed in 1920 by the Selwyn Brothers to a design by Eugene De Rosa, housed the Gershwin musicals Strike Up the Band and George White's Scandals, among other works, but was also turned into a film venue by the early 1930s. A brief return to use as a legitimate theatre in the late 1970s proved unsuccessful, and the venue ended its existence as a nightclub.[4]

By the early 1990s, after being neglected and falling into serious disrepair, both theatres were condemned. They were among the 42nd Street theatres repossessed by the City and State of New York in 1990, and fell under the protection of the New 42nd Street organization in 1992. In 1996, the theatres were leased by Livent and demolished.[4] However, certain major architectural elements and structures were protected under landmark status; these were carefully removed from the buildings, stored, and incorporated into the new theatre. Today, patrons visiting the theatre sit under the dome from the Lyric and proscenium arch from the Apollo, and pass through the ornate Lyric Theatre facades on 43rd and 42nd Streets. Above the 43rd street entrance, on the second floor, can be seen the busts of W. S. Gilbert, Arthur Sullivan and Reginald De Koven; the Lyric Theatre was originally intended to house De Koven's works.[5]

The theatre opened as the Ford Center for the Performing Arts[6] on January 26, 1998 with a musical version of E.L. Doctorow's Ragtime, with over 1,900 seats- making it one of the largest theaters on Broadway at the time. Ragtime was intended by Livent to run indefinitely, but with Livent's bankruptcy and dissolve in 1999, the show was forced to close in early 2000. The venue was completely renovated and renamed the Hilton[7] for the US premiere of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.[8]

After the closing of Young Frankenstein on January 4, 2009, the theatre was vacant throughout 2009. The production of the new musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark was anticipated to open in December 2010, but problems in financing the record-setting budget of the show (estimated at $65 million), and technical issues, postponed the opening.[9][10] After securing funding, Spider-Man officially opened on June 14, 2011 following seven months of preview performances.[11]

The theatre was renamed the "Foxwoods Theatre" in August 2010, under an agreement with Foxwoods Resort Casino and Live Nation.[12]

On May 20, 2013 it was announced that the UK-based Ambassador Theatre Group had acquired the lease to the Foxwoods Theatre for about $60 million. The New 42nd Street nonprofit organization remained as the landlord.[13] In March 2014, the theatre was renamed the Lyric Theatre by ATG.[14] Between 2017 and 2018, the theater was completely renovated and modified for the theater's current production Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, which opened on April 22, 2018. Approximately $33 million was spent on the theater's modifications, in addition to the $35.5 million capitalization of the production. Formerly described by the New York Times as a "charmless barn of a theater", the renovation brought the seating capacity down to 1,622 seats from the previous 1,866, bringing the theater closer to the seating capacity of other large Broadway theaters, including the Majestic, St. James, and Broadway theaters.[15]


Box office record

Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark achieved the box office record for the Foxwoods Theatre (and the record for the highest single-week gross of any show in Broadway history, at that time).[25] The production grossed $2,941,790.20 over nine performances at 100.02% capacity for the week ending January 1, 2012.[26]

On its third week of previews, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child set a new record at the Broadway box office for the highest single-week gross reported by a straight play in Broadway history.[27] The production grossed $2,138,859 over eight performances for the week ending April 8, 2018.[28]



  1. "Broadway's Foxwoods Theatre To Be Rechristened the Lyric". Playbill. March 6, 2014. Retrieved March 6, 2014.
  2. "Old Heidelberg Again", The New York Times, October 13, 1903
  3. Lyric Theatre at Internet Broadway Database
  4. Marks, Peter. "Turning Two Historic Theaters Into One Big One", The New York Times, January 17, 1996
  5. Morrison 1999, pp. 36–37.
  6. Dunlap, David W. (January 29, 1997). "Ford to Sponsor New Theater on 42d Street". New York Times.
  7. "Foxwoods Theatre". Internet Broadway Database. Retrieved February 10, 2013.
  8. "Ford Center for the Performing Arts to Be Renamed in 2005". Playbill. Retrieved February 10, 2013.
  9. Fung, Lisa. "'Spider-Man' musical sets 2010 Broadway opening date". Los Angeles Times. February 24, 2009.
  10. Healy, Patrick (November 5, 2010). "Costly 'Spider-Man' Can't Get Off the Ground". The New York Times. Retrieved December 6, 2010.
  11. Healy, Patrick (March 9, 2011). ""Precipitous Fall for "Spider-Man Director". New York Times. Retrieved March 11, 2011.
  12. BWW News Desk (August 9, 2010). "Broadway's Hilton Theatre to Be Renamed as Foxwoods Theatre".
  13. Kennedy, Mark (May 20, 2013). "Lease to Broadway's biggest theater sold". Yahoo! News. The Associated Press. Retrieved May 20, 2013.
  14. "'King Kong' Out, 'On the Town' In, at Foxwoods Theater – Now Renamed the Lyric". New York Times. March 6, 2014. Retrieved March 6, 2014.
  15. Paulson, Michael. "Another Harry Potter Landmark: At $68 Million, the Most Expensive Broadway Nonmusical Play Ever". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved November 8, 2018.
  16. "Ragtime". The Guide To Musical Theatre. Retrieved February 10, 2013.
  17. "No Resurrection: Jesus Christ Superstar Closes Sept. 3". Playbill. June 28, 2000. Retrieved February 10, 2013.
  18. "Ford Center for the Performing Arts". New York Tix. Retrieved February 10, 2013.
  19. "Hot Feet". New York City Theatre. Retrieved February 10, 2013.
  20. "How The Grinch Stole Christmas". New York City Theatre. Retrieved February 10, 2013.
  21. "The Pirate Queen". New York City Theatre. Retrieved February 10, 2013.
  22. Spencer, Charles (November 9, 2007). "Young Frankenstein: Struggling to come back to life". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved February 10, 2013.
  23. Spencer, Charles (June 15, 2011). "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, Foxwoods Theatre, New York, review". The Telegraph. Retrieved February 10, 2013.
  24. "Review: 'Paramour' Brings Cirque du Soleil to Broadway". The New York Times. May 26, 2016. Retrieved June 10, 2016.
  25. "Spider-Man musical makes Broadway history". BBC. January 5, 2012. Retrieved February 10, 2013.
  26. "INDUSTRY INSIGHT: Weekly Grosses Analysis - 1/3; SPIDER-MAN Breaks Record". January 3, 2012.
  27. Cox, Gordon (April 9, 2018). "Broadway Box Office: 'Harry Potter and the Cursed Child' Hits Record Sales".


  • Morrison, William (1999). Broadway Theatres: History and Architecture. Dover Publications. ISBN 0-486-40244-4.
  • Van Hoogstraten, Nicholas (1997). Lost Broadway Theatres. Princeton Architectural Press. ISBN 1-56898-116-3.
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