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Wallack's Theatre

Illustration of Wallack's Theatre

Illustration of Wallack's Theatre

Interior of Wallack's New Theatre - The Screen Scene in "The School for Scandal"
Harper's Weekly Vol. XXVI No. 1307 - January 7, 1882 (three days after the theater opened)

Broadway at 30th Street
Estimated seating capacity: 1250
Opened: January 4, 1882
Demolished: 1915

Lester Wallack's company performed at several venues, each named Wallack's Theater during the company's tenancy. The first was at 485 Broadway (Broome Street), then at 844 Broadway (13th Street), and then the theater shown here at Broadway and 30th Street. When Pictorial Diagrams of New York Theatres was published in 1883 the company's previous theater at 844 Broadway (13th Street), formerly named Wallack's Theatre, had been renamed the Star Theatre. This is a typical example of how the theater district gradually moved uptown to follow the audiences as the city grew northwards.

Every woman in the audience seems to be wearing a hat. This is a sightlines problem we no longer have today.

If the illustration from Harper's Weekly is accurate, it appears the patrons in the back rows of the side balconies can see only half of the stage floor. Patrons in the higher side balcony see even less of the stage. This is a serious sightlines flaw that can be avoided in modern theaters.

Home· Pictorial Guide to New York Theatres - 1883