Beautiful: About the Theater
Named for one of Broadway’s most beloved composers, the Stephen Sondheim Theatre has been home to a number of remarkable performances and productions. Formerly known as Henry Miller’s Theatre, named for another theatre luminary, the space is located at 124 West 43rd in the heart of Times Square.
Designed by architects Paul R. Allen and Ingalls & Hoffman, the theatre was built by, and named for, actor, manager, and producer Henry Miller. The original theatre space was relatively small by Broadway standards at 950 seats, and it opened in April of 1918 with a production of the play The Fountain of Youth. Its earliest claim to fame was being the very first Broadway house to have air conditioning in all of Manhattan.
The Miller family finally sold the space to the Nederlanders in 1966, who then went on to sell it to Seymour Durst two years later. During the 60’s and 70’s, the space transformed into a pornographic house called Avon-at-the-Hudson, and in the 80’s it underwent another transformation into a nightclub called SHOUT. Finally, in 1998, it became a performance space once more, going by the name of the Kit Kat Club, which is the name of the club in Cabaret, the production it was then housing. In 2001, when Urinetown was playing there, it was rechristened The Henry Miller, but in 2004, the theatre was closed, gutted, and reconstructed. After the remodel, the space was opened up to accommodate 1,050 seats, and on March 22, 2010 -- on his 80th Birthday -- it was announced that the theatre would be renamed to honor legendary composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim.
The space has grown and changed, transitioned and transformed over its long and storied history, and it has had a number of luminary performances on its hallowed stage. Now playing: Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, which is enjoying a hugely successful run.