Herald Square Theatre in 1907
|Former names||(New) Park Theatre (1883-1894)|
New York City
|Years active||1883 - 1914|
|Architect||Rose & Stone|
The Park Theatre opened in 1883 (also known as the New Park Theatre) on the partly demolished site of the Great New York Aquarium (1876-1881), which is unrelated to the later New York Aquarium. Actor Charles E. Evans, retiring from the stage with cash in hand from the long-running success of A Parlor Match, refurbished the prior Harrigan's Park Theatre as the Herald Square Theatre in 1894. It stood at 1331 Broadway, designed by architects Rose & Stone, with about 1150 seats and with its interior furnished by the interior of the nearby Booth's Theatre, which was being demolished. Lee Shubert took over the lease of the theatre in 1900, making it the first Broadway theatre owned by The Shubert Organization.
Partially destroyed by fire and rebuilt, in 1911 it became "the first New York theatre to be converted into a silent movie house", but it was demolished only three years later, as the Garment District expanded, and the Broadway theater district migrated north of 40th Street.
The theatre offered a variety of entertainment, from plays, like Shaw's Arms and the Man (1894), to Edwardian musical comedies, like The Girl from Kay's (1903-1904) and The Girl Behind the Counter (1907-1908), to operetta, like Reginald De Koven and Harry B. Smith's Rob Roy. It saw the first performance of the George M. Cohan song "You're a Grand Old Flag" in 1906, and it was also where William Randolph Hearst first saw and met his wife Millicent Willson during her appearance as a "bicycle girl" in 1897.