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Sam H. Harris Theatre

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sam H. Harris Theatre
New Amsterdam 1985.jpg
The "Harris" marquee can be seen on the far right of this 1985 photo, comprising the rightmost part of the Candler Building.
Address226 W. 42nd St.
New York City
United States of America
Current useDemolished

The Sam H. Harris Theatre was a Broadway theatre within the Candler Building, at 226 West 42nd Street, in the Theater District of Manhattan in New York City. It was built in 1914 and stopped producing plays in 1933. It remained in operation as a movie house for decades and was demolished in 1996.


The theatre was designed by architect Thomas W. Lamb and built by Asa Candler, the founder of The Coca-Cola Company, as part of the Candler Building. It opened in May 1914 as the Candler Theatre to show movies, but had been designed to also support plays. Candler leased the theatre to George M. Cohan and Sam H. Harris to start showing plays, with On Trial being the first production in August 1914. The theatre became the "Cohan and Harris Theatre" in 1916.[1]

When Cohan and Harris went their separate ways in 1920, Harris took over and renamed it the "Sam H. Harris Theatre" in 1921, with Welcome Stranger the first offering under that banner. (Another Harris Theatre was renamed the Frazee in 1920.) A 1922 production of Hamlet starring John Barrymore received critical acclaim, playing for a record setting 101 performances. Harris sold the theatre to The Shubert Organization in 1926,[2] who surrendered it to bankruptcy in 1933. After that, the venue showed movies for decades.[3]

A plan by the Nederlander Organization to renovate and revive the theatre fell through, as did a plan to split the venue into a twin-movie house as part of the Times Square Redevelopment plan. The theatre was demolished in 1996. Madame Tussauds New York is now located in its former location.[4][5][6]

Select productions

  • On Trial by Elmer Rice (Aug. 1914-Jul. 1915, 365 perf.)
  • The House of Glass (Sept. 1915-Apr. 1916, 245 perf.)
  • Captain Kidd, Jr. (Nov. 1916-Mar. 1917, 128 perf.)
  • A Tailor-Made Man (Aug. 1917-Aug. 1918, 398 perf.)
  • Three Faces East (Aug. 1918-, 335 perf.)
  • The Royal Vagabond (Feb. 1919-Jan. 1920, 348 perf.)
  • The Acquittal (Jan.-May 1920, 138 perf.)
  • Honey Girl (May-Sept. 1920, 142 perf.)
  • Welcome Stranger (Sept. 1920-Jun. 1921, 309 perf.)
  • Six-Cylinder Love (Aug. 1921-Jul. 1922, 344 perf.)
  • Hamlet (Nov. 1922-Feb 1923, 101 perf.)
  • Icebound (Feb.-Jun. 1923, 145 perf.)
  • The Nervous Wreck by Owen Davis (Oct. 1923-May 1924, 279 perf.)
  • Topsy and Eva, book by Catherine Chisholm Cushing (Dec. 1924-May 1925, 159 perf.)
  • Love 'em and Leave 'em (Feb.-Jun. 1926, 152 perf.)
  • We Americans (Oct. 1926-Jan. 1927, 118 perf.)
  • Lovely Lady (Dec. 1927-May 1928, 164 perf.)
  • The Trial of Mary Dugan (Jun-Sept. 1928, part of a longer run at other theatres for 437 total perf.)
  • Congai (Nov. 1928-Mar. 1929, 135 perf.)
  • The Last Mile (Feb.-Oct. 1930, 289 perf.)
  • The Greeks Had a Word for It by Zoe Akins (Sep. 1930-May 1931, 253 perf.)


  1. ^ (5 September 1916). C. & H. Begins New Season, The New York Times ("The C. & H. Theatre, which was the Candler ...")
  2. ^ (20 September 1926). Shuberts Purchase Harris Theatre, The New York Times
  3. ^ (7 August 1952). Sale-Lease Closed on Harris Theatre, The New York Times
  4. ^ Harris Theatre,, Retrieved 16 November 2020
  5. ^ Dunlap, David W. (2 December 1998). Commercial Real Estate; Midtown Office Tower Preparing for a Comeback, The New York Times ("The theater was recently demolished to make way for Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum.")
  6. ^ Bloom, Ken. Broadway: An Encyclopedia, pp. 220-22 (2004)

External links

This page was last edited on 15 October 2021, at 15:48
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