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New World Stages

New World Stages

New World Stages is a five-theater, Off-Broadway performing arts complex in New York's Hell's Kitchen neighborhood. It is located between 49th and 50th Streets beneath the plaza of the Worldwide Plaza complex at Eighth Avenue.

Constructed on the site of the third Madison Square Garden, New World Stages was originally built as a Loews Cineplex Entertainment multiplex cinema at Worldwide Plaza, operating from 1994 to 2001. The movie theater complex was closed from 2001 until 2004, when, following substantial renovations, it re-opened as Dodger Stages. The architects were Beyer, Blinder, and Belle. The theatre designers were Sachs Morgan, and the interior designer was Klara Zieglerova. Since that time, the theater complex has housed many commercial theatrical productions, as well as numerous corporate events, readings, and concerts.

Dodger Stages was renamed New World Stages on March 16, 2006, concurrent with Stage Entertainment’s assuming sole ownership of the complex. Since November 17, 2014, the venue has been owned and operated by The Shubert Organization.

In addition to new Off-Broadway productions, New World Stages has become a home to shows that were previously on Broadway, including Avenue Q, The 39 Steps, Million Dollar Quartet, Peter and the Starcatcher, and Jersey Boys. This producing tactic has been utilized to encourage the extension of a show's commercial run. The venue has also become a location for the piggybacking model, whereby multiple shows adjust their playing times and share the same theater, set, and tech personnel to lower the costs of keeping an open-ended Off-Broadway show running. The theatres and lobby are also available for special events, including conferences, readings, workshops and receptions.

New World Stages houses five theaters. Stages 1 and 3 have a maximum of 499 seats each, Stages 2 and 4 have a maximum of 350 seats each, and Stage 5 has a maximum of 199 seats. These capacities, greater than 100, fewer than 500, define New World Stages as an Off-Broadway complex. (Theaters with fewer than 100 seats are Off-Off-Broadway; theaters with 500 or more seats that are in the theater district are classified as Broadway level.) The maximum weekly capacity, assuming five shows running concurrently in the five theaters, each for eight performances per week, is 15,176 people.

The complete square footage of the underground complex is 61,300 square feet (5,690 m2), and it reaches underground the length of a full city block, from 49th street to 50th street.

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