The Richard Rodgers Theatre is an Esplanade or a Broadway theatre constructed by Irwin Chanin. The theatre is situated at 226 West 46th Street, between Broadway and 8th Avenue, in New York city. When it was constructed in 1925, the theatre was named after its constructor and it had the name Chanin's 46th Street Theatre. The constructor, Chanin,had plans to rent it out to the Shubert family. The Shubert family however later acquired the building in 1931 and they renamed it the 46th Street Theatre. After 14 years of ownership by the Shubert family, Robert W. Dowling took over the theatre in 1945. After more than a decade, the producer Lester Osterman bought the building in 1960. Stephen R. Friedman and Irwin Meyer purchased the theatre from Lester Osterman in 1978. The change of ownership of the theatre ceased in 1981 when it was purchased and reconstructed by Nederlander Organization. The name of the theatre was then changed from the 46th Street Theatre to the Richard Rodgers Theatre in memory of Richard Rodgers, the composer.
The theatre is known to have hosted the greatest number of Tony Award-winning Best Plays and Best Musicals, a total of 11 since it was opened, more than any other theatre in Broadway. After the production of 1776 at the Tony Award for Best Musical in 1961, it was transferred from the Rodgers to the St. James Theatre in December 1970, it played there until April 1971. 1776 was then moved to the Majestic Theatre before it closed on February 13, 1972. The Richard Rodgers Theatre has a capacity of 1,319.
The Richard Rodgers Theatre is distinguished because it was the first to adopt Chanin's 'democratic' seating plan. In the earlier days of Broadway theatres, patrons always seat in balconies that are not expensive and sub floor in between the main floors sections uses separate entrances from patrons who had purchased first class seats. But after it was reconstructed, all patrons now enter the Richard Rodgers Theatre through the same doors, and a series of steps inside the house now lead to the upper seating areas.
The Richard Rodgers Theatre has had a number of noticeable production history. The most recent being the production of the Hamilton. Hamilton broke the box office record for the Richard Rodgers Theatre. The production made a total nominal value of $3,335,430 for its last week on January 1st, 2017 with an expensive ticket price of about $998 and 105.887% of the theatre's total nominal value potential. Another noticeable production in the Richard Rodgers Theatre is the Romeo and Juliet. It first previewed on August 24, 2013 before it was officially launched on September 19, 2013. It lasted for 3 months and then closed on December 8, 2013. In the Tony Award for Best Musical for the year 2008, In The Heights previewed at the Richard Rodgers Theatre on February 14, 2008. It was then officially launched on March 9, 2008 and closed on January 9, 2011 after 3 years.