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The Phantom of the Opera (Majestic Theatre) (New York, USA)

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The Phantom of the Opera (Majestic Theatre)

The Phantom of the Opera (Majestic Theatre)

The Majestic Theatre is a Broadway theatre located at 245 West 44th Street in Midtown Manhattan. It is one of the largest Broadway theatres with 1,681 seats and traditionally has been used as a venue for major musical theatre productions. Since 1988, the theater has housed The Phantom of the Opera, which is the longest-running production in Broadway history and is expected to run until 2023.

Among the notable shows that have premiered at the Majestic are Carousel (1945), South Pacific (1949), The Music Man (1957), Camelot (1960), A Little Night Music (1973), and The Wiz (1975). It was also the second home of 42nd Street and the third home of 1776.

Designed by architect Herbert J. Krapp, the present-day Majestic was constructed by the Chanin Brothers as part of an entertainment complex including the Theatre Masque, the Royale Theatre, and Lincoln Hotel (now the Row NYC Hotel, and previously the Milford Plaza). It opened on March 28, 1927 with the musical Rufus LeMaire's Affairs. The theater was designed in a Spanish style, with Adam style detailing within the auditorium, a large single balcony, and steep stadium seating in the orchestra section, all under an expansive plaster dome. A large staircase leads patrons up to the orchestra level one story above the expansive street frontage. On the Spanish terracotta and stone facade, ornate loggia mask the fire escapes from the auditorium, mirroring the neighboring St. James Theatre across 44th Street. With 1,681 seats, the Majestic is one of the largest of the Broadway theaters, and has been home to primarily large musicals in its ninety year history. The venue hosted the 50th Tony Awards in 1996, on the set of Phantom.

The Majestic was purchased by the Shubert brothers during the Great Depression and currently is owned and operated by the Shubert Organization. Both the interior and exterior were designated New York City landmarks in 1987, just prior to the theater's current long-running tenant, The Phantom of the Opera. For Phantom, the theater's stage was expanded and modified extensively to fit the show's complex scenic elements, the Shuberts spending more than $1 million to accommodate the show after considering the Martin Beck and Mark Hellinger theaters with the show's producer Cameron Mackintosh, and moving long-running tenant 42nd Street was moved across the street to the St. James. Much of the theater's large, ornate proscenium arch has been obscured and painted black since Phantom's installation in 1987. A long alleyway connects the theater backstage to the surrounding Golden, Jacobs and Broadhurst theaters.

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