Theatre Row Building

The Theatre Row Building is a complex of five Off-Broadway theatres at 410 W 42nd Street on Theatre Row in New York City.

Theatre Row Building
The Theatre Row building with its six constituent theatre entrances
Theatre Row Building
Location within Manhattan
Theatre Row Building
Theatre Row Building (New York)
Theatre Row Building
Theatre Row Building (the United States)
Address410 W 42nd Street
New York City
Coordinates40°45′31″N 73°59′36″W
Owner42nd Street Development Corporation
CapacityAcorn: 199
Beckett: 99
Clurman: 99
Kirk: 99
Lion: 88
Studio: 55

The building is owned by the 501(c)(3) organization non-profit Building for the Arts and is the center piece of an effort to transform the adult entertainment district on West 42nd Street between Ninth and 10th Avenues into an Off Broadway theatre district.


The 42nd Street Development Corporation was formed in 1976 by Fred Papert with a mission of working to revitalize all of 42nd Street which had become home to numerous pornographic businesses. In 1977 Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis was elected to its board and in 1977 it began a process to replace porn stores between 9th Avenue and Dyer on the south side of the street with off Broadway theatres, rehearsal spaces and offices. Among the bigger adult venues being replaced were the 42nd Street Playhouse which had signs advertising "All Live Burlesk" and Mermaid. In the same year the Manhattan Plaza apartment tower opened on the north side of 42nd. The first theatre renovations were dedicated in 1978 with Walter Mondale, Joan Mondale and Ed Koch among those attending.[1][2] The transformation of the district was highlighted in the scenes and settings for the 1981 film Tootsie

Audiences to the Off Broadway venues noted in the 1980s that the buildings still maintained the rough edges of their porn history with poor seating, poor bathrooms and air conditioning that worked intermediately so in 1999, under Theatre Row Managing Director Ray Cullom, the core of the Theatre Row Buildings were gut renovated and rebuilt from the ground up with the five theatres opening in brand new spaces in 2002 in the original five-story brick building (even as tall apartment towers rose adjacent to it).[1][2][3][4]


  • Acorn Theatre - largest of the complex with 199 seats[5]
  • Samuel Beckett Theatre with 99 seats[6]
  • Harold Clurman Theatre with 99 seats[7]
  • Rodney Kirk Theatre with 99 seats (named for the first director of Manhattan Plaza[8])
  • Lion Theatre with 88 seats (on the site of the original Clurman Theatre and named for the Lion Theatre which was one of the original theatres to open on Theatre Row in 1977[9][10][11][12])
  • Studio Theatre which is a 55-seat Black box theater[13]


  1. "Our History – 42nd Street development Corporation". Retrieved 2018-02-24.
  2. "A New and Improved Theatre Row Appears | Playbill". Playbill. Retrieved 2018-02-24.
  3. McKinley, Jesse. "Upscale March Of Theater Row; A Centerpiece of Redevelopment". Retrieved 2018-06-23.
  4. "NY Times Theatre Row 2004 On Stage and Off".
  5. "Acorn Theater - Lortel Archives". Retrieved 2018-02-24.
  6. "Samuel Beckett Theatre - Lortel Archives". Retrieved 2018-02-24.
  7. "Harold Clurman Theater - Lortel Archives". Retrieved 2018-02-24.
  8. "Kirk Theatre". Theatre Row. Retrieved 2018-02-24.
  9. Jeffri, Joan. Arts Money: Raising It, Saving It, and Earning It. ISBN 9781452901398.
  10. "Lion Theatre". Theatre Row. Retrieved 2018-02-24.
  11. "Lion Theatre - Lortel Archives". Retrieved 2018-02-24.
  12. "Lion Theatre Company - Lortel Archives". Retrieved 2018-02-24.
  13. "Studio Theatre". Theatre Row. Retrieved 2018-02-24.
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