by Chris Hale                          address: 214 West 42nd Street
9 July 2008                                          (between 7th & 8th Ave)
                                                           New York, NY 10036
                                                           Phone: (212) 282–2900

   The New Amsterdam Theatre was built, in 1903, by A.L. Erlanger and Marcus Klaw with the designs of architects Herts and Tallant, in an Art Nouveau style. The New Amsterdam is considered one of the oldest surviving theatres on Broadway along with the New VictoryHudson and Lyceum. The New Amsterdam had a complete miniature theatre and dance floor on its rooftop where variety shows were held. The Ziegfeld Follies were held at the rooftop theatre and brought many great broadway names to this theatre such as Will Rogers, Fanny Brice, and W.C. Fields. In 1937, the theatre was used as a movie house. In 1982, the New Amsterdam Theatre, became a landmark and was purchased by the Nederlander Organization. After several setbacks and structural problems, the theatre was purchased by the New York State and resold, in 1992, to the Walt Disney Company. The Disney Company spent two years (1995–1997) restoring the theatre which involved a complete reconstruction. Disney published a very interesting book titled The New Amsterdam which documents the theatre’s history and restoration process. The theatre reopened in 1997 after a 60 year hiatus. The theatre seats 1801 and has a large lobby area and bar for refreshments and snacks located on the main level. Among the successful productions at this theatre includes: The Merry Widow, George M. Cohan’s Forty-five Minutes from Broadway, The Band Wagon (starring Fred Astaire and his sister Adele, in their last show together), Roberta (starring Bob Hope), King David, Disney’s Tony-Award winning The Lion King and the recent Tony-Award winning Disney hit Mary Poppins.