Eugene O’Neill Theatre
About Eugene O’Neill Theatre
The Eugene O’Neill Theater on West 49th Street was built as part of a hotel and theater complex in 1925. It opened as the Forrest Theatre, after the American Shakespearean actor Edwin Forrest, and was connected to the Forrest Hotel. Designed by Herbert J. Krapp, the Eugene O’Neill Theater was the first theater structure to utilize steel beams. The innovative theater design also used electricity to power a system to move stage scenery. The interior is adorned with intricate plasterwork, making it the most ornate theater designed by Krapp. The owners, the Shubert brothers, attracted audiences and lured hotel guests to the theater with promotions such as free cigarettes and coffee in the early 20th-century. They also offered free services of mind readers and silhouette artists, which, paired with the hotel bar, kept the theater’s doors open through the Great Depression. In 1959, the theater was renamed the Eugene O’Neill Theater in honor of the American playwright.
- Fun Facts About the Eugene O’Neill Theater
- The Eugene O’Neill Theater was the first Broadway theater to be named after a playwright.
- Playwright Neil Simon bought the Eugene O’Neill Theater in the 1960s, and presented seven of his plays at the theater. The Jujamcyn Company bought it in 1982.
- “The Book of Mormon,” which has been running at the theater since 2011, holds the theater’s box office record.
New York, NY 10019
Transportation & Parking
Icon Parking (235 West 48th Street) Quick Park (215 West 48th Street)
R49th Street (7th Avenue)
E50th Street (8th Avenue)