THE MAJESTIC THEATRE
The Majestic Theatre was the most impressive building on our block. In addition to having a narrow front on the Circle, it fronted both 58th and 59th Streets. Cantilevered balconies supported on steel beams insured that none of the 1,354 seats was blocked by a pillar. The theatre opened in 1903 with a hit musical, Wizard of Oz, followed the next year by Victor Herbert's Babes in Toyland.
This theatre would have many names and be used for various modes of entertainment. It was a Marcus Loew movie theatre in 1908, Park Theatre in 1911, Minsky's Park Music Hall in 1922 for burlesque, Cosmopolitan in 1923 for movies, Theatre of Young America in 1934 with theater for children, Park Theatre again in 1935 for movies, International theater in 1944 with Ballet International, Columbus Circle Theatre in 1945 with the play GI Hamlet, International Theatre again in 1946, and finally the NBC Television Theatre in 1949. Sid Caesar's Show of Shows was filmed there.
In 1923 William Randolph Hearst took over the Majestic, renamed it the Cosmopolitan, to show movies by his production company Cosmopolitan Pictures starring his mistress, Marion Davies.
The Majestic was demolished to provide wide approaches for pedestrians using the Coliseum.
Permission to use the images on this page has been granted by
The Billy Rose Theatre Collection, The New York Public Library
for the Performing Arts, Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundations.
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