Olympia Theatre (New York)
Drawing of the Olympia from The New York Times
|City||New York City|
|Architect||J. B. McElfatrick & Son|
|Years active||1890-1935; 1989-1999|
|Previous names||Hammerstein's Olympia, New York Theatre, Loew's New York, Criterion Theatre, Criterion Center Stage Right|
The Olympia Theatre (1514-16 Broadway at 44th Street), also known as Hammerstein's Olympia, was a theatre complex built by impresario Oscar Hammerstein I in Longacre Square (later Times Square), New York City, opening in 1895. It consisted of a theatre, a music hall, a concert hall, and a roof garden. It was later named the New York Theatre and Loew's New York.
The New York Times wrote, "The Olympia is a beautiful, massive gray stone building, extending 203 feet (62 m) on Longacre Square, 104 feet (32 m) on Forty-fifth Street, and 101 feet (31 m) on Forty-fourth Street. Its material is Indiana limestone, richly carved and ornamented, and it presents one of the most imposing façades on Broadway. The lines of the French Renaissance were closely followed in its designing." It was designed by J. B. McElfatrick & Son.1
The building was opened on November 25, 1895 with over 30 performers from Europe appearing. It was the second theater to open in what is now known as the Times Square Theater district. The first was the Empire Theatre, on the Southeast corner of 40th Street and Broadway. The Olympia was later named the New York Theatre and Loew's New York.
In 1935, architects Thomas W. Lamb and Eugene DeRosa redesigned the site. Historic sources are unclear as to whether some or all buildings in the complex were demolished and rebuilt, or the shells gutted and remodeled to build a nightclub/dancehall, the International Casino, and the Criterion movie theatre.1
In 1989, the Criterion was renovated and opened as a Broadway theatre, the Criterion Center Stage Right. Its inaugural productions were Starmites, Mastergate and Stand-Up Tragedy. For the 1991-92 season, the Roundabout Theatre Company took over the location for its Broadway productions.
List of Roundabout productions at the Criterion Center Stage Right:
- CinemaTreasures.org entry for Criterion Theatre (single screen), New York
- CinemaTreasures.org entry Loew's Criterion Theatre (multiplex), New York
- Olympia Theatre: Music Hall at the IBDB database
- Criterion Center Stage Right at the IBDB database
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