Broadway Theatre  

Imperial Broadway Theatre

The Imperial Theatre, opened on Broadway in 1923.


Imperial Theatre

249 West 45th Street
New York, NY 10019
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The Imperial Theatre is located on the north side of 45th Street between Broadway and Eighth Avenue. It is number 20 on The Broadway Map

The Imperial Theatre has an exceptionally long entrance and lobby area, which, with its marbled gray and white tiled floors and mauve tiled walls, looks as much like an upscale hotel as a theater. It is one of the more spacious theaters on Broadway, and has bathrooms with enough stalls that you've got a fighting chance of getting in and out before intermission ends.

Unlike most Broadway houses, the Imperial's stage door is not on the same street as the entrance, so autograph hounds will have to go around to 46th Street after the show if they want to see their favorite stars. The theater typically houses ambitious musicals and large productions, and the large design reflects this.

Best Seats In The House:

None of the 1,421 seats in the Imperial Theatre are classified as having an obstructed view, but because of its large size, the best seats are in the mid to front orchestra and the front mezzanine.

The mezzanine is steeply raked, so even the cramped rear section has a pretty clear view, just so long as the people in front of you aren't leaning too far forward. The boxes have an acceptable view, but you're likely to miss a little of the action happening on the side of the stage closest to you.
Imperial Broadway Theatre

Imperial Broadway Theatre Background:

To get a sense of the evolution of the Broadway musical in the 20th century, one need only to look at the list of past tenants at the Imperial Theatre, which first opened its doors in 1923. Nearly all the great songwriters of the early musical theatre were represented, as Rudolf Friml, George and Ira Gershwin, Sigmund Romberg, Cole Porter, Rodgers & Hart, Irving Berlin, Frank Loesser, Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg all had shows here. The Imperial Theatre then ushered in some of the most beloved musicals of Broadway's Golden Age, such as Gypsy, Oliver! and Fiddler on the Roof. In the modern era, it has been home to unexpected collaborations like Marvin Hamlisch and Neil Simon's They're Playing Our Song and the ABBA/Tim Rice musical Chess, leading to the flagship of the Euro-musical era, Les Miserables, which originally opened at the Broadway Theatre, but then transferred to the Imperial, where it stayed for over 12 years.

Previous Shows at the Imperial Theatre:

The Imperial Theatre has almost exclusively presented musicals over the years, some of the more notable of them being Rose-Marie, Oh, Kay!, The New Moon, On Your Toes, Louisiana Purchase, One Touch of Venus, Annie Get Your Gun, Call Me Madam, The Most Happy Fella, Jamaica, Gypsy, Oliver!, Fiddler on the Roof, Cabaret, Zorba, Pippin, Dreamgirls, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, and of course Les Miserables. In the post-Les Miz era, the Imperial Theatre has been home to the Hugh Jackman vehicle The Boy From Oz, a musical version of the Steve Martin movie Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, High Fidelity, Coram Boy, the Pulitzer Prize-winning drama August: Osage County, and Billy Elliot.

Directions to the Imperial Theatre:
By Subway, take the A/C/E to 42nd Street, walk north on Eight Avenue and then turn right onto 45th Street. Or take the 1/2/3 to 42nd Street, walk north on Seventh Avenue and then make a left onto 45th Street.


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Seating Map for the Imperial Theatre:

Theatre Seating Chart for Imperial Broadway Theatre