4. Ed Sullivan Theater

Ed Sullivan Theater
Ed Sullivan Theater in the evening. Courtesy of Photographs in the Carol M. Highsmith Archive, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.

As Ed Sullivan walked through London’s Heathrow Airport in October 1963, he experienced the Beatles craze that began to build during that decade. At that moment, he knew he had to have the Beatles on his show, the Ed Sullivan Show, which was the most popular variety show on television that year. Four months later, the Beatles were slated to appear on the show for three consecutive Sundays.

According to Mastropolo, when the first show ended, Sullivan said to himself, “Something happened but I’m not sure what.” The Beatles had just performed many of their hit songs, including “All My Loving” and “I Want to Hold Your Hand.” The latter was at the top of the charts and elicited the screams of thousands of women. By 1967, the studio, which was called CBS Studio 50, became the Ed Sullivan Theater. Janis Joplin, The Rolling Stones, and The Doors are other notable performers who appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show. Though the Late Show with Stephen Colbert is filmed there today, the theater still bears Sullivan’s name.