The best theatres in New York are true iconic landmarks of the after-dinner entertainment in the city that never sleeps. New York City is one of the best destinations in the world to see live shows, thanks to the extensive options on Broadway and beyond. In fact, many of the world’s most famous shows make their debut in the New York theatres. 

    The Theater District by Times Square is where you'll find most of the city’s performing arts venues, but you’ll find plenty more by heading to other New York boroughs. Brooklyn, for example, hosts many independent theatres that showcase contemporary plays in intimate settings. Check out our guide to the best places to see a show or play in New York. 

    What are the most famous theatres in New York?


    Apollo Theatre

    Visit a historic theatre

    Apollo Theatre is one of the most iconic historic landmarks in all of New York City, and it still hosts live performances that you can see to this day. It was originally opened more than a century ago, and while there was a period of decline, the modern Apollo Theatre gets more than a million visitors every year. The nature of the performances can vary quite a bit. While musical performances are the most common, you'll find dance routines, comedy acts, and classic theatre performances as well. You'll find the theatre in Harlem just east of Morningside Park.

    Location: 253 W 125th St, New York, NY 10027, USA

    Open: Most shows begin at 7 pm

    Phone: +1 212-531-5300


    photo by Malrite (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified


    Beacon Theatre

    Enjoy iconic performances

    Beacon Theatre is amongst the top venues in the city for live music and entertainment where you'll find a wide variety of acts to enjoy. The theatre is most widely known for its live music performances ever since The Allman Brothers' legendary series of concerts. Amongst the modern performances, you'll find touring artists as well as stand up comedians. The theatre often hosts special events as well like film premieres and award shows. You'll find this theatre on Broadway in the Upper West Side.

    Location: 2124 Broadway, New York, NY 10023, USA

    Phone: +1 212-465-6500


    photo by ajay_suresh (CC BY 2.0) modified


    Vivian Beaumont Theatre

    See Broadway off-Broadway

    Vivian Beaumont Theatre is a popular Broadway theatre that's unique in that it's the only one not located in the Theatre District with the other Broadway theatres. Despite its location, you'll find plenty of Broadway-tier performances held here including productions of classic Shakespeare plays along with more modern works. The theatre itself is capable of holding 1,200 spectators who can enjoy the building's grand design mastermind by architect Eero Saarinen. You can see it all for yourself next to Hearst Plaza within the Lincoln Centre.

    Location: 150 W 65th St, New York, NY 10023, USA

    Phone: +1 212-501-3100


    photo by Jim.henderson (CC BY 4.0) modified


    New York City Centre

    Explore the best of dance and music

    New York City Centre is home to quite a few impressive dance companies as well as an entire festival and musical theatre series through its three theatres. The main stage of this theatre can fit up to 2,257 guests, but you'll find two smaller theatres as well for more intimate performances. Several dance companies have come to call this theatre home, and that's mostly the kind of performances you can expect, especially during the Autumn for Dance Festival. Of course, Encores! is also based here. See it for yourself just a short walk south from Carnegie Hall.

    Location: 131 W 55th St, New York, NY 10019, USA

    Phone: +1 212-581-1212


    photo by Tony Hisgett (CC BY 2.0) modified


    Richard Rodgers Theatre

    Visit a Tony Awards veteran

    Richard Rodgers Theatre is amongst the most famous of the Broadway theatres in that it has hosted 11 different Tony Award-winning plays and musicals. That record puts it above any other theatre on Broadway. When you book a seat at this theatre, you can be sure you're in for a high-quality production, and often one you won't find anywhere else. This historic theatre dates back all the way to 1925, but you'll find some modern design choices inside. For example, this theatre is unique amongst its contemporaries as it features a singule entrance for both standard seats and luxury seats. You'll find this theatre just a short walk west of Times Square.

    Location: 226 W 46th St, New York, NY 10036, USA

    Phone: +1 212-221-1211


    photo by ajay_suresh (CC BY 2.0) modified


    Palace Theatre

    See iconic musicals

    Palace Theatre was once known for its vaudeville performances, but it has since grown to host some of the most iconic musicals you'll find anywhere in the world. Amongst its rich history of productions, you'll find musicals like "Beauty and the Beast" and "West Side Story." This venue is also home to musical spin-offs of popular media including "Legally Blonde: The Musical" and "Spongebob Squarepants." You'll find this theatre conveniently in Times Square right across the street from Father Duffy Square.

    Location: 1564 Broadway, New York, NY 10036, USA

    Phone: +1 212-730-8200


    photo by Chernjam (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified


    Majestic Theatre

    Experience 'The Phantom of the Opera'

    Majestic Theatre is one of the largest Broadway theatres in town and has been home to the legendary "The Phantom of the Opera" since 1988. This historic play is the only production of this theatre ever since its debut in 1988, and each year it seems to get better and better with the box office record set only recently. The theatre itself has a 1,681 seat capacity and features a combination of Spanish style and Adam style construction where you'll find steep stadium seating and a single balcony. The stage is massive to allow for the complex sets in "Phantom." See it for yourself just east of Times Square across the street from St. James Theatre.

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    Location: 245 W 44th St, New York, NY 10036, USA

    Phone: +1 212-239-6200


    photo by Summ (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified


    Lyceum Theatre

    Visit a more modest Broadway theatre

    Lyceum Theatre is relatively small with only a 922-seat capacity, but it still produces absolutely incredible performances ranging from stage plays to musicals. Despite its relatively small capacity, it still features 3 levels along with an opulent Beaux-Arts design with multiple marble staircases. When you visit this theatre, you'll be visiting a piece of history as it dates back all the way to 1903. In fact, it was the first Broadway theatre in town to be granted official landmark status. See it for yourself near Times Square between Sixth and Seventh.

    Location: 149 W 45th St, New York, NY 10036, USA

    Phone: +1 212-239-6200


    photo by ajay_suresh (CC BY 2.0) modified


    St. Ann's Warehouse

    Enjoy theatre in Brooklyn

    St. Ann's Warehouse is a Brooklyn performing arts venue that's known for combining a love for rock and roll with professional theatre productions. Throughout its history, it has hosted a wide variety of concerts that mostly featured rock and roll artists, but other genres had their time in the spotlight as well. When you visit this venue today, you'll find a satisfying combination of theatre and live music. In fact, one of their most popular productions was "A 24-Decade History of Popular Music," which combined music and theatre in an award-winning way. You'll find this theatre on the east side of the Brooklyn Bridge by the river.

    Location: 45 Water St, Brooklyn, NY 11201, USA

    Phone: +1 718-254-8779


    photo by Caroline Culler (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified


    Kings Theatre

    Visit a restored historic landmark

    In better shape than ever thanks to recent renovations, Kings Theatre is a historic theatre where you can see events, concerts, dances, and other performances. The latest renovations were completed in 2015 and they meticulously recreated the original 1929 design of this theatre. When you visit, you'll feel as if you've stepped into the past. In terms of programming, you'll find a wide variety of shows available. Touring musical artists often use this venue for shows, but you'll also find stand up comedians and speciality events. Check it out for yourself in Flatbush south of Prospect Park.

    Location: 1027 Flatbush Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11226, USA

    Phone: +1 800-745-3000


    photo by Professorcornbread (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

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