The Hilton Theatre is a Broadway theatre, located at 213 West 42nd Street.
The Hilton was built in 1996-98 on the site of the Apollo and Lyric Theatres. The Lyric was built in 1903 and hosted such notable shows as Cole Porter's Fifty Million Frenchmen, however, by 1934 it had been converted to a cinema. The Apollo, constructed in 1920, housed the Gershwin musical Strike Up the Band and George White's Scandals, among other works, but was also turned into a film venue by the early 1930s. A brief return to use as a legitimate theatre in the late 1970s proved unsuccessful, and the venue ended its existence as the Academy nightclub.
By the early 1990s, after being neglected and falling into serious disrepair, both theatres were condemned. They were among the 42nd Street theatres repossessed by the City and State of New York in 1990, and fell under the protection of the New 42nd Street organization in 1992.
In 1996, the theatres were leased by Livent and demolished. However, certain major architectural elements and structures were protected under landmark status; these were carefully removed from the buildings, stored, and incorporated into the new theatre. Today, patrons visiting the Hilton sit under the dome from the Lyric and proscenium arch from the Apollo, and pass through the ornate Lyric facades on 43rd and 42nd Streets.
The theatre opened as the Ford Centre for the Performing Arts on January 26, 1998 with the new musical version of E.L. Doctorow's Ragtime. In 2005, the venue was renamed the Hilton and was completely renovated for the U.S. premiere of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. The Hilton will house a holiday run of Dr. Suess' How the Grinch Stole Christmas from October 25, 2006 to January 7, 2007. The theatre will then house the Broadway debut of the new musical The Pirate Queen, which begins previews on February 23, 2007. The Hilton's previous production was the musical Hot Feet, which closed on July 23, 2006.
- Broadway Theatre Guide with full show details for the Hilton Theatre
- Apollo information at the New 42nd Street
- Lyric information at the New 42nd Street
- Seating chart
- Broadway Theatres: History and Architecture, William Morrison, 1999, Dover Publications, IBSN 0486402444
- Lost Broadway Theatres, Nicholas Van Hoogstraten, Princeton Architectural Press, 1997, ISBN 1-56898-116-3