St. James

Inside the
St. James
Theatre

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Now playing at St. James

Bullets Over Broadway

Located at 246 West 44th Street

About the Theater

Originally called the Erlanger Theatre, it was built in 1927 by Theatrical Syndicate owner A. L. Erlanger and was the first theater built by Warren & Wetmore, one of New York’s most prominent architectural firms and designers of Grand Central Station.

Known for their grand and ostentatious buildings, Warren & Wetmore designed a comparatively simple exterior for this theater—a brick facade with an ornate iron loggia. The St. James was one of the largest theaters on Broadway and reflected Warren & Wetmore’s Beaux-Arts training as well as their interest in French-inspired ornamental detail. In addition to the ornate murals and plasterwork covering the interior, the theater also boasted two balconies, making it a very successful house for musicals. Erlanger survived the opening of the theater by only three years. It was purchased by the Astor family, who renamed it the St. James, and was eventually acquired by the Shubert organization in 1941. Oklahoma!,1943’s opening show, was expected to be a flop but it played for six years. In 1957, the Shuberts sold the theater to William L. McKnight, who transferred ownership to his daughter and Jujamcyn Theaters in 1970. It was their first Broadway theater acquisition. The St. James has continued to build on its musical theater history by presenting works such as The King and I, The Pajama Game, Flower Drum Song, Hello Dolly! and The Producers.

Justin Van Soest

Located at 246 West 44th Street

Theater Architect

©Bettman/ Corbis

Theater Architect

Whitney Warren

Whitney Warren attended Columbia University and finished his studies at the École des Beaux-Arts under the tutelage of Honoré Daumet and Charles Girault. Upon his return to the United States, he worked for McKim, Mead & White.

In 1898, he and Charles D. Wetmore started a firm that became one of the country’s preeminent designers of commercial and public buildings. Warren & Wetmore built several New York City hotels, including the Biltmore, the Vanderbilt, the Commodore, and the Ritz. They are best remembered for their Beaux-Arts design of Grand Central Terminal. Warren was a founder of New York's Society of Beaux-Arts Architects, a French Legion of Honor officer, and a member of the Institut de France.

Tanya Braganti

Theater Architecture

Tanya Braganti
,
Tanya Braganti

Theater Architecture

Playbill Inc.

Featured Shows

Broadway Debut 1983

My One and Only

Paul Kolnik

Featured Shows

Broadway Debut 2001

The Producers

Photo by Friedman-Abeles © The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts

Featured Shows

Broadway Debut 1964

Hello Dolly

Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images or Courtesy Eileen Darby Images, Inc.

Featured Shows

Broadway Debut 1943

Oklahoma!