Girish Mahajan (Editor)

American Airlines Theatre

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June 30, 2000

+1 212-719-1300

October 2, 1918


American Airlines Theatre

City and State of New York

Roundabout Theatre Company

227 W 42nd St, New York, NY 10036, USA

Samuel J Friedman Theatre, Booth Theatre, Cort Theatre, Bernard B Jacobs Theatre, Broadhurst Theatre

The big knife at american airlines theatre

The American Airlines Theatre, originally the Selwyn Theatre, is a historic Italian Renaissance style Broadway theatre in New York City built in 1918. It was designed by George Keister and built by the Selwyn brothers. Used for musicals and other dramatic performances it was eventually converted for film. It was used briefly as a visitor's center but stood vacant for years until a 1997 renovation and restoration. It is located at 227 West 42nd Street.


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Originally named the Selwyn Theatre, it was designed by the architect George Keister and constructed by the Selwyn brothers, Edgar and Archie, in 1918. It was one of three theatres they built and controlled on 42nd Street, along with the Apollo and the Times Square Theater. It was decorated in the style of the Italian Renaissance, and originally had 1,180 seats. At the time of its opening, the design had several innovations. Its most novel feature was separate smoking rooms for men and women. Additionally, each dressing room was equipped with a shower and telephone.


The venue initially hosted major musical and dramatic productions, including Cole Porter's Wake Up and Dream, and in October 1930 Clifton Webb appeared there in Three's a Crowd, but eventually became a cinema. It would return to legitimate theater several times over the next six decades, but eventually fell into disrepair. It was used briefly in the early 1990s as a home for the Times Square Visitors Center and for a limited production of Eugene O'Neill's The Hairy Ape, but for the most part, stood vacant.


The City and State of New York took possession of the Selwyn in 1990. In 1992, it was one of six 42nd Street theatres to fall under the protection of the New 42nd Street organization. The Roundabout Theatre Company committed to renovating the Selwyn in 1997. It was restored to its former grandeur (albeit now with just 740 seats), renamed the American Airlines in honor of its principal sponsor, and reopened on June 30, 2000. The American Airlines Theatre currently serves as the home of the Roundabout and houses its major dramatic productions.

Selected productions at Selwyn Theatre

Productions that had more than 100 consecutive performances at the Selwyn Theatre:

  • The Crowded Hour (1918) (139 performances)
  • Tumble In (128 performances)
  • Buddies (1919) (259 performances)
  • Ed Wynn's Carnival (1920) (150 performances)
  • Tickle Me (1920) (207 performances)
  • The Circle (1921) (175 performances)
  • The Blue Kitten (1922) (140 performances)
  • Helen of Troy, New York (1923) (191 performances)
  • Battling Butter (play)|Battling Butter (1923) (moved to Times Square Theater, total 313 performances)
  • AndrĂ© Charlot's Revue of 1924 (298 performances)
  • Kid Boots (started at Earl Carroll Theatre in 1923, moved in 1924, total 498 performances)
  • Charlot Revue (1925)
  • Castles in the Air (1926) (160 performances)
  • The Constant Nymph (1926) (148 performances)
  • The Royal Family (1927) (345 performances)
  • This Year of Grace (1928) (157 performances)
  • Wake Up and Dream (1929) (136 performances)
  • Three's a Crowd (1930) (271 performances)
  • Box office record

    The Pajama Game achieved the box office record for the American Airlines Theatre. The production grossed $477,030 for the week ending April 30, 2006.


    American Airlines Theatre Wikipedia

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