Casino Theatre

The Casino Theatre opened on October 21, 1882, built by producer Rudolph Aronson and designed by architects Kimball & Wisedall. Aronson’s financial backers included famed tycoons the Tiffanys, Morgans, Vanderbilts and Roosevelts. Located on Broadway at 39th Street, it was the first legitimate house in the present-day theatre district. (The theatre district of the 19th century was located farther downtown, between Union Square and 23rd Street.) In 1903, the Shuberts took over management of the theatre, and they were forced to rebuild entirely after a fire in 1905. They reopened with the hit musical The Earl and the Girl, which premiered a song by a 20-year-old Jerome Kern, who found his first commercial success with “How’d You Like to Spoon With Me?” Though the Casino was once an uptown pioneer, by the 1930s there were over 80 legitimate houses between 39th Street and Columbus Circle. It was demolished in the early 1930s, overtaken by the expanding Garment District.


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