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Broadway Theatre

On March 3, 1888, the Broadway Theatre opened at the corner of Broadway and 41st Street. It was constructed by architect J.B. McElfatrick and financed by owner James Bailey, the former partner of circus phenomenon P.T. Barnum. Bailey fled management before construction was complete and sold the Broadway Theatre to managers Frank Sanger, T.H. French, and Elliot Zborowski. This theatre housed such notables as Weber & Fields, Nora Bayes, child actress Helen Hayes, and Lillian Russell, as well as the final New York appearance of actor Edwin Booth, in Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Later, the Broadway Theatre presented the Gilbert & Sullivan work Utopia Limited and the original stage adaptation of Ben-Hur, featuring a cast of 261. The Broadway Theatre was demolished in January 1929, closing with the vaudeville show Broadway Fever.