Located in the Theater District, the Imperial Theatre was the Shubert Organization’s fiftieth venue in New York and was constructed as a replacement for the Lyric Theatre, which was converted to a movie theater and later demolished. Opened in 1923, the Imperial Theatre has been home to some of Broadway’s biggest hits.
The Imperial Theatre has housed some of the biggest productions in musical theater: In its early years, the venue hosted hits by songwriters such as George and Ira Gershwin, Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, and Rodgers and Hart. More recently it has also been the home of hits like Oliver!, Cabaret, Fiddler on the Roof, and Les Miserables.
Designed by famed Broadway architect Herbert J. Krapp, the Imperial Theatre has 1,457 seats and features a long entrance and lobby area with a recessed ceiling and ornamental panels. The wide, shallow auditorium lets audience members to feel closer to the stage than in other venues. To see the theater, book tickets to a current performance. The outside of the theater is included on some walking tours of Times Square, Broadway, or the Theater District.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Children under the age of 4 are not permitted inside the theater.
- Cell phones, cameras, recording devices, and other electronic devices cannot be used during performances.
- There are no elevators or escalators in the theater.
- Assistive devices for the hard of hearing and visually impaired are available.
- The theater is not fully wheelchair accessible, but there are designated wheelchair areas.
How to Get There
The Imperial Theatre is located on West 45th Street, between Broadway and Eighth Avenue. To reach the theater by subway, take the A, C, or E train to 42 Street–Port Authority Bus Terminal, the N, R, or W train to 49th Street, or the B, D, F, or M train to 47th-50th Streets Rockefeller–Center. You can also reach the theater via an Eighth Avenue bus or any bus line that goes to the Port Authority Bus Terminal.
When to Get There
The theater’s box office is typically open from late morning through evening Monday–Saturday from noon until early evening on Sunday. If you plan to see a show, arrive early as there may be lines for the box office or concession stands. Latecomers will be seated at the theater’s discretion.
Before or after the show, head to Restaurant Row, a one-block stretch of 46th street between Eighth and Ninth Avenues that is home to a wide variety of restaurants. Popular spots to grab a bite or a drink include Bar Centrale, Barbetta, Becco, Don’t Tell Mama NYC, Joe Allen, Le Rivage, and Sushi of Gari 46.