Millennium & Copthorne Hotels plc (M&C) is pleased to announce that New York’s iconic Hudson Theatre at West 44th Street will reopen for Broadway productions under the terms of a new lease with the Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG), through its subsidiary, Hudson Theatre LLC.
For the past 50 years, one of the oldest and most elegant of Manhattan theaters has been used as a movie venue, a rock club and a conference center, but after a multimillion-dollar renovation that will begin in the New Year, the historic Hudson Theatre is set to reopen its doors for the 2016/17 Broadway season.
Among the stars that have graced the Hudson’s stage are Douglas Fairbanks, William Holden, Helen Hayes, Edward G. Robinson andDorothy Gish. Barbara Stanwyck and Judith Anderson both made their debuts on its stage. The Pulitzer Prize winning play State of the Union opened at the Hudson in November 1945 and ran for 765 performances. On September 27, 1956, the first edition of Steve Allen’s The Tonight Show was broadcast nationwide from the Hudson Theater and in 1987 the theater was bestowed landmark status for both its internal and external features. M&C, which owns five hotels in Manhattan, including Millennium Broadway Hotel, The Premier Hotel, ONE UN, Millenium Hilton and Novotel Times Square, acquired the Hudson Theatre from Harry Macklowe in 1995.
M&C Chairman, Kwek Leng Beng, commented on the new agreement: “We are extremely pleased about this alliance with ATG, a theater group with a terrific reputation for producing top-class live theater productions around the world and are delighted to be returning the Hudson Theatre not only to its former splendor but to its original intended use.
M&C has worked closely with its Union partners to ensure the future of this unique venue. The agreement will allow M&C to market our hotels to ATG’s audiences with special offers on dining, entertainment and accommodation.”
Significant work will be undertaken to both front and back of house, including new state-of-the-art seating, a premium lounge service, new dressing rooms and the introduction of hi-tech lighting equipment and stage systems that will firmly re-establish the Hudson Theatre as one of Broadway’s leading theaters.
In a joint statement, ATG’s CEOs, Sir Howard Panter and Rosemary Squire, OBE, said: “We are thrilled to work with Millennium and Copthorne Hotels to restore this amazing venue to its rightful glory again. It presents us with enormous opportunities to produce even more productions in New York as the Hudson Theatre will be the perfect companion to our larger Broadway musical venue, The Lyric Theatre. It is a source of constant delight to see ATG continue to go from strength to strength, and make its mark on the global stage. A second Broadway theater is another landmark achievement for the company we co-founded 23 years ago and we couldn’t be happier.”
ATG’s Executive Director, David Lazar, said: “It’s a rare opportunity to give new life to a Broadway venue which helped establish Broadway as we know it. We thank Chairman Kwek for his vision in returning the Hudson Theatre to its rightful place on Broadway in partnership with ATG.”