Broadway Facts

Broadway Facts
Broadway is a collection of 40 professional theatres (able to hold 500 or more ticket holders each) in New York City, located in Midtown Manhattan, NY's Theatre District and Lincoln Center. Theatre was not popular in New York City until the mid-1700s when a resident theatre company opened on Nassau Street, able to seat 280 people. The American Revolutionary War put a temporary hold on NYC theatre but once it was over theatre again began to grow. Theatre hot spots moved about until the 1920s and 1930s when many were built in the Broadway area and they became known collectively as the 'Great White Way'. Although referred to as Broadway, the majority of theatres are not on Broadway. Most are in the Theatre District while only 4 are on Broadway.
Interesting Broadway Facts:
Broadway used to be a trade route for the Algonquin Native Americans, called the Wiechquaekeck Trail.
One of the first theatres to open on Broadway was The Playhouse, in the 1730s.
When Broadway was referred to as the "Great White Way" it may have been because they were the first to use light bulbs on signs.
A Broadway theatre must seat at least 500 people to have this distinction.
An Off-Broadway theatre must seat between 100 and 499 people to have this distinction.
Off-Off-Broadway theatres can seat up to 99 people.
There are no "I" rows in Broadway theatres. This helps avoid confusion and disappointment if someone thinks their ticket says 'Row 1'.
Broadway plays can run for many, many years if it is making money.
The Phantom of the Opera is the longest running Broadway show. It has been running since 1988. Chicago is second, having opened in 1996.
The Tony Awards were created to be the equivalent of the Academy Awards (Oscars), but for theater.
It is estimated that approximately 70% of Broadway tickets are purchased by tourists.
It is estimated that about 68% of the audience members at Broadway shows are female.
Many successful Broadway plays were later turned into Hollywood movies, including Grease, Les Miserables, Funny Girl, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Mama Mia, Chicago, My Fair Lady, and The Sound of Music.
Most of the Broadway theatre owners and producers of Broadway plays are members of a trade organization called The Broadway League, which promotes Broadway.
It is possible to get discounted tickets in NYC at Times Square, Duffy Square, and in Brooklyn. Tickets can be discounted as much as 50% and purchased the day of the show, or for the next day's matinee.
Many actors from film and television are cast in Broadway plays to increase the public's interest. These actors tend to do shorter runs however because they have other commitments in Hollywood.
Broadway is an extremely profitable draw for tourists. In 2014 Broadway shows sold $1.36 billion in tickets.
Most Broadway shows are musicals but some plays are also performed.
Some of the names of Broadway theatres are Booth Theatre, The Broadway Theatre, Ethel Barrymore Theatre, Gershwin Theatre, Neil Simon Theatre, and Studio 54.


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