Built by Chanin Brothers, the theatre, originally named the Biltmore Theatre, opened in 1925 with a production of Owen Davis’ farce Easy Come, Easy Go.
Samuel Friedman Theatre box office
Designed by Herbert J. Krapp, the theatre opened with a single balcony, just under a thousand seats, and a color scheme of cerise and brown.
In the 1930’s, the Bitlmore was taken over by the Federal Theatre Project for its Living Newspaper series and then by Warner Brothers as a showcase for the productions of famed producer/playwright/director George Abbott.
In 1952, the theatre was leased to CBS before returning to legitimate house with Harold Prince’s production of the hit comedy Take Her, She’s Mine in 1961.
Throughout it’s early history, the theatre welcomed theatre legends including Lily Tomlin and Robert Redford as well as iconic productions including the Heiress, Hair, and more.
Due to its intimate size and landmark status, the theatre was difficult to book and sell, and in the late 1980s, played it’s last production of the 20th century, a musical revue called Stardust.