The Theater: The First 50 Years

One January night 50 years ago, way uptown at Broadway and 40th Street, there was opened a luxurious, "absolutely fireproof" theater, its facade all carved stone, its interior all red and gilt. On that evening in 1893 Manhattan did not realize that its great theater district of the future was taking root. The new Empire Theater seemed a rather ambitious venture, even for Producer Charles Frohman and his famous stock company. It was baptized with a melodrama laid in an Army post, called The Girl I Left Behind Me (by David Belasco and Franklyn...

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