The Lion King: About the Theater
Located at 1515 Broadway in New York City’s bustling Theatre District, the Minskoff Theatre is home to the Disney musical The Lion King, based on the animated feature of the same name. The theatre is located in the same high-rise building that house MTV’s administrative offices, a building that runs the length of the block between 44th and 45th streets in Times Square. Designed by architects Kahn and Jacobs, this 1,621-seat venue was named for Sam Minskoff and Sons, builders and owners of the same high-rise building that was constructed on the site of the legendary Astor hotel.
The theatre opened on March 13, 1973, with a revival of an elaborate musical called Irene, starring Debbie Reynolds. It has since been a home to a number of different musicals, dance productions, concerts, and plays. In 1981, the Minskoff Theatre hosted the Miss Universe Pageant, won by Venezuela’s own Irene Saez. Other remarkable productions in the Minskoff space include a transfer of Joseph Papp’s production of The Pirates of Penzance and a hit revival of Sunset Boulevard.
In 2006, before The Lion King moved into the space, over 200 craftsman and artisans worked to refurbish the theatre to get it ready. It took them nearly six months to complete the project, headed by designer Mariuca Brancoveanu. The dramatic environment features a terrazzo walkway through the main lobby and into the theatre, where hand-painted sculptures adorn the interior walls. The theatre is one of the Nederlander Organization’s nine Broadway houses.