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Maxine Elliott's Theatre

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Maxine Elliott's Theatre
Maxine Elliott's Theatre LCCN2014681544.jpg
Maxine Elliott's Theatre before the opening on December 30, 1908
Former namesWOR Mutual Radio Theatre (1941–1944), CBS Radio Playhouse No. 5 (1944–1948), CBS Television Studio No. 44/Studio 51 (1948–1956)
Address109 West 39th Street
Manhattan, New York City
Coordinates40°45′12.06″N 73°59′9.46″W / 40.7533500°N 73.9859611°W / 40.7533500; -73.9859611
OwnerMaxine Elliott, The Shubert Organization (1908–1956)
TypeBroadway theatre (1908–1941), recording studio (1941–1948), television studio (1948–1956)
Genre(s)Theatre (1908–1941), radio drama (1941–1948), variety show (1948–1953)
Opened30 December 1908 (1908-12-30)
Renovated1948 (1948)
Closed1941 (1941)
Reopened1941 (1941), 1948 (1948)
Demolished1960 (1960)
ArchitectMarshall and Fox
Federal Theatre Project 1936–1937

Maxine Elliott's Theatre was originally a Broadway theatre located at 109 West 39th Street in Manhattan. Built in 1908, it was designed by architect Benjamin Marshall of the Chicago-based firm Marshall and Fox, who modeled the façade after the neoclassical Petit Trianon in Versailles.[1] In later years, it was known as WOR Mutual Radio Theatre (1941–1944), CBS Radio Playhouse No. 5 (1944–1948), and CBS Television Studio No. 44 or CBS Television Studio Studio 51 (1948–1956). The theater was demolished in 1960 to make way for the Springs Mills Building.


The theatre was named for American actress Maxine Elliott, who originally owned a 50 percent interest in it, in partnership with The Shubert Organization. Elliott was one of the few women theater managers of her time. She leased it to the Federal Theatre in 1936; the following year, it was shut down by the government on the eve on the opening of Orson Welles's production of The Cradle Will Rock.

In 1941, the theatre became a radio studio and in 1948 was converted for television production, where the very first episodes of Ed Sullivan's Toast of the Town variety show originated (from 1948 until 1953).[2] In 1956, Elliott's heirs sold her share to the Shuberts, who then sold the property. It was demolished in 1960 and the Springs Mills Building was built on the site, being completed in 1963. The theatre, built in a thriving theatre district, was the last remaining Broadway house below 41st Street.

Maxine Elliott's Theatre seated approximately 935 patrons. Throughout its lifetime, it housed a multitude of plays, including original works by George Bernard Shaw, John Millington Synge, Lady Augusta Gregory, Lord Dunsany, Lillian Hellman and Somerset Maugham. Only nine of its dozens of productions were musicals, including one opera, See America First, by Cole Porter.

Notable productions

Mabel Barrison and Harry Conor in The Blue Mouse by Clyde Fitch (1909)
Mabel Barrison and Harry Conor in The Blue Mouse by Clyde Fitch (1909)


  1. ^ Bloom, Ken (2007). The Routledge Guide to Broadway. Routledge. p. 169. ISBN 978-0-415-97380-9. LCCN 2006031344. Retrieved December 13, 2020.
  2. ^ "Ed Sullivan Theater". The Ed Sullivan Show. SOFA Entertainment. Retrieved December 13, 2020. Ed Sullivan, who had been hosting his variety show “Toast of the Town” out of CBS’s Maxine Elliott Theater, moved into Studio 50 in 1953.
  3. ^ "Maxine Elliott's Theatre". Internet Broadway Database. Retrieved 2018-06-02.

External links

This page was last edited on 4 June 2021, at 10:28
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