New York’s theatre capacity

From The New York Times – October 15, 1922

The average New Yorker would find it difficult to estimate the number and combined seating capacity of New York’s theatres. The figures are much higher than is generally supposed. No other city in the world has so many theatres in actual operation as New York. The number of theatre seats available in proportion to the population is also surprisingly high.

People in a theater box

The groups of theatres in the general vicinity of Broadway in the forties has no counterpart in any other city. Their number, however, is but a fraction of the total scattered throughout the five boroughs. There are few corners in the residential sections of Manhattan which are not within sight of a theatre sign. Most New Yorkers are

There are few corners in the residential sections of Manhattan which are not within sight of a theatre sign. Most New Yorkers are in easy walking distance of several moving picture theatres at least. The neighborhood theatre is a recent development. In less than one generation, the number of theatres in New York has increased more than 1,000 percent.

The regular theatres devoted to theatrical and musical entertainments number at present over 100 a considerable property of these is of course in the Broadway and Forty-Second street section. These theatres seat from a few hundred to nearly 5000. Their number is also steadily increasing, but not so rapidly as are the distinctly moving picture house. It is interesting to find that, apart from the moving picture theatres, New York still leads the world in the number of its theatres.

An estimate of the total seating capacity of the theatres of all classes will be found interesting. The average seating capacity of the smallest theatre regularly licensed is about 450. The maximum seating capacity of this group of 398 features is therefore about 200,000. The average theatre of the next class seats over 1,000, and since there are 200 of them, they will accommodate 350,000. The average seating capacity of the regular theatres, including the large ones, may be taken as over 1000. The 100 theatres of this size, therefore, accommodate about 100,000. The grand total seating capacity of all these theatres in New York, including the smallest movies, the combination house, and the regular theatres, is about 500,000.

Broadway and other theatres in New York City 1922

 

Metropolitan Opera House

New York Theatres in 1922 - Metropolitan Opera House
 

Maxine Elliot Theatre seating chart

New York Theatres in 1922 - Maxine Elliot Theatre

 

Lyric Theatre seating chart

New York Theatres in 1922 - Lyric seating chart

 

Knickerbocker Theatre seating chart

New York Theatres in 1922 - Knickerbocker Theatre

 

Empire Theatre seating chart

New York Theatres in 1922 - Empire Theatre

 

Cohan Theatre seating chart

New York Theatres in 1922 - Cohan Theatre

 

Casino Theatre seating chart

New York Theatres in 1922 - Casino Theatre

 

Belasco Theatre seating chart

New York Theatres in 1922 - Belasco Theatre

 

Astor Theatre seating chart

New York Theatres in 1922 - Astor Theatre

 

The Play House seating chart

New York Theatres in 1922 - Seating chart - The Play House

 

Republic Theatre seating chart

New York Theatres in 1922 - Seating chart - Republic Theatre

 

New Amsterdam
New York Theatres in 1922 - Seating chart - New Amsterdam Theatre

 

Lyceum Theatre seating chart

New York Theatres in 1922 - Seating chart - Lyceum Theatre


About this story

Source publication: The Wanamaker Diary - 1922, by John Wanamaker Company, New York

Filed under: Drawings & illustrations, Entertainment, Places

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