Guild Theatre, ANTA Theatre, Virginia Theatre
August Wilson Theatre showing Jersey Boys, 2007
|Address||245 West 52nd Street|
New York City
|Architect||C. Howard Crane and Kenneth Franzheim|
The August Wilson Theatre is a Broadway theatre located at 245 West 52nd Street in midtown Manhattan. The theatre, named after Pulitzer-Prize winning playwright August Wilson (2005), is owned and operated by Jordan Roth of Jujamcyn Theaters. The theatre has 1,222 seats, and its longest-running show was Jersey Boys (2005-2017). Since April of 2018, the Tony Award-nominated musical, Mean Girls has been running at the August Wilson.
Designed by architects C. Howard Crane and Kenneth Franzheim and constructed by the Theatre Guild, it opened as the Guild Theatre in 1925 with a revival of George Bernard Shaw's Caesar and Cleopatra. Theresa Helburn of the Theatre Guild presided over the groundbreaking ceremony.
In 1943, the building was leased to WOR-Mutual Radio as a studio. The American National Theater and Academy purchased it in 1950 and renamed it the ANTA Theatre. In 1981, the theatre was purchased by Jujamcyn Theaters and named the Virginia Theatre for owner and Jujamcyn Board member Virginia McKnight Binger.
After her husband, James H. Binger's death in 2004, producer and president of Jujamcyn Rocco Landesman announced that he planned to buy Jujamcyn. He told The New York Times he had a long-standing understanding with Binger that he would buy the corporation's five playhouses. The theatres had an estimated net asset value of $30 million.
In 2009, Landesman was tapped by the Obama administration to head the National Endowment for the Arts Foundation. Landesman sold half his interest to the successful 33-year-old theater producer, Jordan Roth. Roth assumed full control of operations as Landesman departed for the NEA and still owns and operates the company today.
Mean Girls achieved the box office record for the August Wilson Theatre. The production grossed $1,994,386 for the week ending December 30, 2018.
Media related to August Wilson Theatre at Wikimedia Commons