Shuberts to Rename Plymouth and Royale Theatres

News   Shuberts to Rename Plymouth and Royale Theatres The Broadway theatres long known as the Plymouth and the Royale will be renamed by the Shubert Organization this coming spring in honor of the two men who have for many years guided that theatre-owning and producing giant: Gerald Schoenfeld and Bernard B. Jacobs.

Schoenfeld has been the chairman of the Shubert Organization since 1972. Bernard B. Jacobs was president of the Shubert Organization from 1972 until his death in 1996. A dedication ceremony will be led by current Shubert president Philip J. Smith in Shubert Alley in spring 2005. A specific date is yet to be announced.

According to a press release, "The Board took this action at a Sept. 30 meeting to recognize the outstanding contributions to the company, the theatre community and the City of New York made by Mr. Schoenfeld and Mr. Jacobs."

The newly christened Schoenfeld and Jacobs Theatres will not be the only Broadway houses named after a theatre owner and/or producer. In 1980, the stage-owning Nederlander family changed the name of the Trafalgar Theatre to the Nederlander Theatre (after the company's founder and patriarch David Nederlander). Other Broadway houses named after producers and theatre owners include the Cort (after John Cort), the Belasco (after David Belasco), the John Golden and the Virginia (named after Virginia M. Binger, the late owner of the Jujamcyn theatre-owning organization).

The one-time important producer and theatre builder, Martin Beck, recently lost his claim to a Broadway house, when the West 45th Street theatre named after him was reborn as the Al Hirschfeld Theatre, after the pen-and-ink chronicler of Broadway history.

Other Broadway theatres have been named after critics (Brooks Atkinson, Walter Kerr), philanthropists (Vivian Beaumont) and actors (Ethel Barrymore, Henry Miller, Booth, Lunt-Fontanne, Helen Hayes). Playwrights and composers are remembered on but five theatres: the Gershwin, Richard Rodgers, Eugene O'Neill, Neil Simon and the Broadhurst, named after the now obscure English-born dramatist. The Plymouth Theatre was built in 1917. The Royale Theatre was built 10 years later, in 1927.