October 7, 2004
The Board of The Shubert Organization Announces the Renaming of Two Broadway Theatres
The Plymouth will become the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre, the Royale will become the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre
NEW YORK, N.Y. -- The Board of Directors of the Shubert Organization, Inc. announced today the renaming of two Broadway theatres. The Plymouth Theatre (236 West 45th Street) will become the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre. The Royale Theatre (242 West 45th Street) will become the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre. The Board took this action at a September 30 meeting to recognize the outstanding contributions to the company, the theatre community and the City of New York made by Mr. Schoenfeld and Mr. Jacobs.
Gerald Schoenfeld has been the Chairman of the Shubert Organization since 1972. Bernard B. Jacobs was President of the Shubert Organization from 1972 until his death in 1996. Current Shubert President Philip J. Smith will lead a dedication ceremony at an event in Shubert Alley in Spring 2005.
Board member John Kluge stated: “Jerry and Bernie came at a crucial moment in the history of the Shubert Organization. Not only did they reinvent the organization from a business standpoint, they also set a standard of excellence for the industry. They played leading roles in the renaissance of Times Square. Most significantly, they have used the resources of the company to nurture the artistic community of the theatre, contributing greatly to the vitality of Broadway.”
Board member Michael I. Sovern added: “Throughout their years of inspired leadership -- of both the Shubert Organization and the Shubert Foundation -- these two gentlemen shaped and strengthened theatre in America. Their vision has enabled ‘the fabulous invalid’ and theatre companies all across our country to continue to offer live performances to millions of people. They deserve to have their names in lights.”
Mr. Schoenfeld and Mr. Jacobs committed themselves and the organization to a vigorous participation in community and civic affairs in a continuing effort to renew the theatre district and the surrounding area of Times Square. They have been organizers and catalysts in the effort to effect the changes required to reverse the trend of deterioration of the midtown area. For more than 25 years, Mr. Schoenfeld has served as Chairman of the Mayor’s Midtown Citizens Committee.
The Shubert Organization has been at the forefront of the American Theatre since the start of the 20th century. The company owns and/or operates theatres in New York, Boston, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. The firm’s notable productions and co-productions include Cats, Sunday in the Park With George, Dreamgirls, The Grapes of Wrath, The Heidi Chronicles, Jerome Robbins’ Broadway, The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby, Song and Dance, Lettice and Lovage, Dancin’, Amadeus, The Gin Game, An Inspector Calls, Passion, Indiscretions, Closer, Amy’s View, The Blue Room, The Ride Down Mt. Morgan, Dirty Blonde, Dance of Death, and Amour.
The Shubert Organization pioneered the use of credit cards and automated ticketing services. It was instrumental in the creation of the TKTS ticket booth in Duffy Square. Recently the Shubert Organization built and opened its first Off-Broadway theatre, the Little Shubert on West 42nd Street.
The Plymouth Theatre, to be renamed the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre, was built in 1917. Its history includes such plays as What Price Glory?, Pride and Prejudice, Abe Lincoln in Illinois, The Caine Mutiny, The Odd Couple, The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby, and Equus, featuring such players as John Barrymore, Laurette Taylor, Tallulah Bankhead, Mary Martin, Yul Brynner, Richard Burton, Henry Fonda and Claudette Colbert.
The Royale Theatre, to be renamed the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre, was built in 1927. It’s history includes such plays as Diamond Lil, The Magnificent Yankee, The Corn is Green, The Glass Menagerie, The Front Page, DuBarry Was a Lady and The Entertainer featuring such players as Mae West, Bert Lahr, Bette Davis, Ethel Merman, James Dean, Julie Andrews, John Gielgud and Laurence Olivier.
The Board members of the Shubert Organization are John Kluge, Gerald Schoenfeld, Lee J. Seidler, Philip J. Smith, Michael I. Sovern, Stuart Subotnick and Irving M. Wall.