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Broadway and its Many Theatres

Today, there are more than 40 Broadway theatres in New York City. But the road wasn’t always smooth for this beloved stretch of real estate. The early 20th century was a rough time for Broadway theatre: In 1903, the final performance was staged in the remaining 19th-century venues. A few new playhouses opened soon after, but it took another two decades to see the resurgence of a thriving theatre district on this famous street. As you will learn in this article, many theatres have a fascinating history that dates back to the mid-19th century – when they were used as assembly halls and churches. Theatres sprang up again in the 1890s during an initial surge of interest in live performances as spectator sports declined after public excitement over prizefighting waned. Read on to find out more about these amazing places that continue to host some of today’s most popular plays, musicals and revues.

The Rise, Fall and Rebirth of Broadway Theatre

Broadway has been the heart and soul of New York City for well over a century. However, like most things in the Big Apple, this cultural landmark has seen its fair share of ups and downs. Originally, Broadway was only a path for pigs to freely roam the streets. It wasn’t until the mid-1800s that public interest in the theatre brought Broadway to life. Broadway’s first heyday was plagued by corruption. There was no governing body to enforce standard rules of theatre management, and producers competed to attract audiences by showing increasingly gory and sensational productions. Most Broadway theatres were also converted churches and were not equipped to handle the level of production necessary for this new breed of entertainment.

Why Are There So Many Theatres on Broadway?

In the mid-19th century, Broadway was thriving as a commercial district with many important businesses and entertainment establishments. At this time, it was common practice for theatres to be built without foundations, as they were expected to be demolished after a few years as the next entertainment venue required the site. The owners of these new theatres quickly gravitated towards Broadway because it was already a well-established thoroughfare lined with shops, restaurants and hotels that offered their patrons easy access. Broadway also boasted its stop on the horse-drawn streetcar line.

What to Know About Finding Broadway Shows?

It’s important to note that there is no such thing as a Broadway schedule. Many of the theatres on Broadway are also used for other events such as concerts, ballets and operas. However, there are a few tried-and-true tricks for narrowing down your search. As you might expect, you’ll want to look for shows that are currently in the Broadway district. Right now, there are over two dozen productions on Broadway. For a more specific search, select a category (musical, play, etc) and/or a theme. There are plenty of shows that are based on popular movies, like Cats and The Lion King.

New York’s Most Important Theatre: The Metropolitan Opera House

This famous theatre opened in 1880 and was the first building ever constructed on Broadway to be used exclusively for opera and ballet. The Metropolitan Opera House was also the first building built in New York to be constructed with steel frame construction, making it a key component in the city’s growth towards modernity. Today, the Metropolitan Opera House welcomes an average of 33 million visitors per year – more than any other visitor attraction in the United States. The most popular productions at the Met are La bohème and Rigoletto.

Finding Out More About a Show You Like the Sound of

If you are interested in a particular production and want to find out more, there are plenty of ways to do so. You can look up a Broadway show online and find out when it’s playing and where. You can also call the box office of a theatre, or go in person to purchase tickets. It’s important to note that tickets usually go on sale a few months in advance. If you want to attend a popular show, it’s best to purchase your ticket as soon as they go on sale. If you are looking for a more general overview of Broadway, there are plenty of apps available. Broadway Tickets is a free app that gives you information about shows on Broadway and provides you with the ability to buy tickets.


Broadway is a cultural landmark that continues to welcome millions of visitors each year as it has for over a century. Theatres are still located on this famous street, though many of them have been updated and modernized to accommodate new technologies, like sound systems and lighting rigs. You’ll want to check what’s playing on Broadway and be sure to purchase your tickets as soon as they go on sale so you don’t miss out on a chance to see one of these amazing productions live! Now that you know all there is to know about Broadway and its many theatres, you can start planning your visit to this famous New York City landmark.