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Broadway Theatres

Broadway theatres, commonly called simply Broadway, are theatrical performances presented in one of the 40 professional theatres with 500 or more seats located in the Theatre District and Lincoln Center along Broadway, in the Manhattan borough of New York City. Broadway theatres are widely considered to represent the highest level of commercial theatre in the English-speaking world.


New York did not have a significant theatre presence until about 1750, when actor-managers Walter Murray and Thomas Kean established a resident theatre company at the Theatre on Nassau Street which held about 280 people. They presented Shakespeare plays and ballad operas such as The Beggar’s Opera. In 1752, William Hallam sent a company of twelve actors from Britain to the colonies with his brother Lewis as their manager. They established a theatre in Williamsburg, Virginia and opened with The Merchant of Venice and The Anatomist. The company moved to New York in the summer of 1753, performing ballad operas and ballad-farces like Damon and Phillida. By the 1840s, P.T.Barnum was operating an entertainment complex in lower Manhattan. In 1829, at Broadway and Prince Street, Niblo’s Garden opened and soon became one of New York’s premiere nightspots.

The motion picture mounted a challenge to the stage. At first, films were silent and presented only limited competition. By the end of the 1920s, films like “The Jazz Singer” were presented with synchronized sound, and critics wondered if the cinema would replace live theatre altogether. Clearly, the live theatre survived the invention of cinema.

Most Broadway producers and theatre owners are members of The Broadway League ( ), a trade organization that promotes Broadway theatre as a whole, negotiates contracts with the various theatrical unions and agreements with the guilds, and co-administers the Tony Awards with the American Theatre Wing, a service organization.

The Tony is Broadway’s most prestigious award, comparable to the Academy Awards for Hollywood film productions. Their importance has increased since 1967, when the awards presentation show began to be broadcast on national television.

In order to take up the chance to visit the Broadway Theatre while on tour with Comfort Tour, please check the theatre schedule in advance and book accordingly: . During our 4-day tour to New York, we provide our travelers with free time in the afternoon and in the evening. We recommend going to see a Broadway show in after 5:00pm after joining our tour guide for the city tour. This will ensure you get the most out of what New York has to offer!

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Categories: New York City

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