NY City Center

Monday, May 14th, 2007 | All Things, Arts

At NY City Center for Manhattan Theatre Club‘s Spring Boards, the annual play reading series dedicated to the support and development of innovative new work.

City Center

The distinctive building with the neo-Moorish fa├žade and dome was constructed in the 1920s as a Shriners’ auditorium, after Carnegie Hall management, disturbed by the amount of cigar smoke generated during the Shriner’s meetings, evicted the organization. City Center was founded in 1943 when New York City Council President Newbold Morris and Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia converted the building into a home for the performing arts, designating it the People’s Theater — a cultural center to make the performing arts accessible to all New Yorkers.

NY City Center was the founding home to the New York City Opera and the New York City Ballet prior to the 1960s construction of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, which siphoned off most of the audience support for the center. The building was saved from demolition when it was designated a historical landmark, ensuring its survival as a premiere home for dance and, eventually, for a leading theater company.

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