Broadway’s Richard Rodgers Theater Receives $3.5 Million Dollar Renovation
The theaters of Broadway sit in the middle of Manhattan and have watched the neighborhood around them change for decades while they have remained. While Manhattan works to have the best possible structures it can have, Broadway has long honored its beautiful and historic theaters that have remained through the decades. However, as many Broadway theaters begin to climb towards 100 years in service, many of them will be needed repairs, renovations and most importantly, restorations. Today, Luner on Theatre brings you the exciting news that The Richard Rodgers Theater on Broadway has received a $3.5 million dollar renovation!
The Richard Rodgers Theatre was built by Irwin Chanin in 1925 on 46th street in New York City. When it originally opened, the theatre was called Chanin’s 46th Street Theatre. Channin immediately leased the building to the Shuberts who bought the theatre from him entirely in 1931. At that time, they renamed it the 46th Street Theatre. The theatre bounced from producer to producer for many years until the Nederlander Organization purchased the theatre in 1981. At that time, they also renovated the theatre. In 1990, the theatre was officially renamed the Richard Rodgers Theatre in memory of the great composer.
According to an interview with the New York Daily News, James L. Nederlander (President of the Nederlander Organization) hired the award-winning EverGreene Architectural Arts firm to restore the Richard Rodgers Theatre over the past seven weeks. So what exactly did project manager Bill Mensching and his crew take on in the past seven weeks? Let us give you all the details!
The dark gray and brown walls of the theatre have disappeared to give way to warm blues and reds featured in the theater’s original color palette which has been restored. It took 180 gallons of paint to do the job but not before the crews removed over 20 coats of paint from the walls of the theatre. The ceiling has turned into a beautiful white canopy. Also new are light-gray patterned wall coverings inspired by the show palace’s elegant neoclassical design. 40 rolls of gold leaf have been applied to the walls, boxes, proscenium and more helping bring to life the theater’s full glory in a literal gleaming example.
In addition to all of this, they have added two murals to the upper corners of the stage. The murals are of floating men, house left, and women, house right. All 1,319 seats in the theatre are new and the restrooms have been expanded. Also during the renovation, the team discovered the theater’s original proscenium which was buried beneath a second one added at some point in time. They were not only able to restore that but also the angels lining the proscenium which were buried beneath plaster and the second arch.
When asked why James L. Nederlander decided now to renovate the theatre, his answer was very simple.
“It needed a redo. This was a perfect time to do it.”
What exactly does he mean by perfect time you may ask? The Richard Rodgers has been sitting empty on Broadway since The Rascals: Once Upon A Dream emptied the space on May 5th, 2013 when their limited engagement at the theatre ended. Instead of letting the theatre sit empty for a few months, since the time was too short for anything to play in between, Nederlander put the time to good use and renovated the space which was badly in need of a restoration.
So how can you get the chance to check out the newly restored Richard Rodgers Theatre on Broadway? You’ll just have to attend a show there! Previews for Romeo and Juliet begin tonight at the Richard Rodgers theatre! The show is set to officially open September 19th, 2013! This is the first time Romeo and Juliet will return to Broadway in 36 years! Don’t miss your chance to experience this production or the new theatre this production is lucky enough to call home. For more information on the renovation, visit EverGreen’s Official Website. For more production information, visit Romeo and Juliet’s Official Broadway Website. Be sure to check Luner on Theatre on Facebook and Follow Us on Twitter as well! We are constantly updating these pages with information! And of course, check out the rest of Luner on Theatre for all your theatre news you don’t only need but want to know and so much more!