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Encyclopedia > Hilton Theatre

The Hilton Theatre is a Broadway theatre, located at 213 West 42nd Street. Broadway theatre is often considered the highest professional form of theatre in the United States. ...

The Hilton was built in 1996-98 on the site of the Apollo and Lyric Theatres. The Lyric was built in 1903 and hosted such notable shows as Cole Porter's Fifty Million Frenchmen, however, by 1934 it had been converted to a cinema. The Apollo, constructed in 1920, housed the Gershwin musical Strike Up the Band and George White's Scandals, among other works, but was also turned into a film venue by the early 1930s. A brief return to use as a legitimate theatre in the late 1970s proved unsuccessful, and the venue ended its existence as the Academy nightclub. Cole Albert Porter (June 9, 1891 – October 15, 1964) was an American composer and songwriter from Indiana. ... George Gershwin photograph by Edward Steichen in 1927. ...

By the early 1990s, after being neglected and falling into serious disrepair, both theatres were condemned. They were among the 42nd Street theatres repossessed by the City and State of New York in 1990, and fell under the protection of the New 42nd Street organization in 1992.

In 1996, the theatres were leased by Livent Entertainment and demolished. However, certain major architectural elements and structures were protected under landmark status; these were carefully removed from the buildings, stored, and incorporated into the new theatre. Today, patrons visiting the Hilton sit under the dome from the Lyric and proscenium arch from the Apollo, pass through the ornate Lyric facade on the 43rd Street exit and walk into the theatre on 42nd Street through the old Apollo entrance.

The theatre opened as the Ford Centre for the Performing Arts on January 26, 1998 with the new musical version of E.L. Doctorow's Ragtime. In 2005, the venue was renamed the Hilton. The Hilton's latest production, the musical Chitty Chitty Bang Bang closed in late 2005; Hot Feet is scheduled to begin in April 2006. Edgar Lawrence Doctorow (born January 6, 1931, New York, New York) is a writer who has written several critically aclaimed novels that blend history and social criticism. ...

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