Millennium & Copthorne Hotels has announced plans to reopen New York’s Hudson Theatre for Broadway productions.
Under a new leasing arrangement with the Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG), Singapore-based M&C will carry out a multi-million-dollar renovation of the venue that will include new seating, a new lounge, dressing rooms and the introduction of high-tech lighting equipment and stage systems.
M&C said its aim is to “re-establish the Hudson Theatre as one of Broadway’s leading theatres”.
For the past 50 years, the Manhattan venue has been variously used as a movie theatre, rock club and conference centre. M&C, which owns five hotels in Manhattan, acquired the Hudson Theatre in 1995.
“We are extremely pleased about this alliance with ATG, a theatre group with a terrific reputation for producing top-class live theatre productions around the world, and are delighted to be returning the Hudson Theatre not only to its former splendour but to its original intended use,” said M&C’s chairman, Kwek Leng Beng.
“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,” he added.
ATG’s executive director, David Lazar, said that the deal with M&C represented a “rare opportunity to give new life to a Broadway venue”.
Among the stars that have graced the Hudson are Douglas Fairbanks, William Holden, Helen Hayes, Edward G. Robinson and Dorothy Gish, while 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 1945 and ran for 765 performances, and in 1956 the first edition of Steve Allen’s ‘The Tonight Show’ was broadcast nationwide from the theatre.