overview

Opened in 1920, the Times Square Theater staged a number of productions involving major LGBT performers and creators, including Katharine Cornell, Tallulah Bankhead, Laurence Olivier, and Noel Coward, among others.

Operating relatively briefly as a legitimate theater, the venue became a movie theater in 1933 and the interior was demolished in 1996.

Header Photo
Credit: Sarah Sargent/NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project, 2019.

History

The Times Square Theater was constructed with a neo-Classical style façade that it shared with the Apollo Theater. During its brief history as a legitimate theater, it enjoyed success with a number of LGBT-associated productions with major figures. These included Honors Are Even (1921) by Roi Cooper MegrueA Bill of Divorcement (1921-22), with Katharine Cornell (opened at the George M. Cohan’s Theater); The Exciters (1922), with Tallulah BankheadAndre Charlot’s Revue of 1924, with Beatrice LilliePrivate Lives (1931) by Noel Coward, with Coward, Laurence Olivier, and Jill Esmond; and Forsaking All Others (1933), with Tallulah Bankhead and Anderson Lawlor.

In 1933 it became a movie theater. It appeared in the cult movie Times Square (1980) which depicted female rockers in a subtle lesbian relationship. The theater’s interior was demolished in 1996 and portions were used in the Ford Center.

Building Information

  • Architect or Builder: Eugene DeRosa
  • Year Built: 1920

Sources

  1. Internet Broadway Database.

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