7. The Lyric Theatre

Lyric Theatre Harry Potter

The original Lyric Theatre was built in 1903 by developer Eugene C. Porter, intended as the home of composer Reginald De Koven’s American School of Opera. Since the school went bankrupt before construction was even finished, Potter leased the theater to the Shubert brothers. During the 1920s, many Shakespeare plays were produced, such as The Merchant of Venice, Hamlet, and Othello. In 1925, the Marx Brothers had one of their earliest Broadway shows here called The Coconauts, a show that eventually became their first feature film. Finally, Cole Porter’s Fifty Million Frenchmen opened here in 1929.

In 1934, the theater suffered from some major production flops and was forced to become a movie theater. In 1996, the Lyric, along with the Apollo Theatre were demolished. The facade of the Lyric and proscenium arch, lobby and ceiling of the Apollo were incorporated into the new theater. It would go through a few names until March 2014, when it was renamed the Lyric Theater. After the new theater was constructed in 1997, it became the second largest theater in Times Square behind the Gershwin. It ran the notable (and controversial) musical Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark (2011), and ran the Broadway debut of Ragtime in 1998. It will reopen on November 12, 2021 with performances of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, which has been located in the Lyric Theatre since its opening in 2018.