6. Musician Strike: September 18-October 13, 1975

Bernard B Jacobs Theatre interiorThe Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre

1975 saw a 25-day musicians’ strike that shut down over a dozen Broadway shows. On the first night, nine Broadway theaters were shut down when over 300 musicians went on strike, the musicians’ union demanding a pay increase from $290 to $425 a week in a three-year contract. The first day of the strike did not affect performances by Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, and Count Basie.
Yet, after 25 days, 12 box offices opened up after the musicians and producers ratified a new three-year contract, providing for pay increases of $90 a week over three years. As a result of the strike, $3.5 million in ticket sales was lost and many staff in other industries were laid off.