Our Access Granted series continues this week with a look at Disney’s New Amsterdam Theatre, the oldest operating theater on Broadway in New York’s theater district. We got a taste of the ’20s when we toured Brooklyn’s Kings Theatre, soaked up the teens during our visit to Harlem’s Apollo Theater, and now we’re heading all the way back to 1903 for a look at the New Amsterdam.
The New Amsterdam Theatre was originally built to host a production of William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer’s Nights Dream, and its design closely reflects the play’s plot and characters — from the lush forest motif of the entry to the appearance of characters like Puck in the decorative moldings. Though the production didn’t run for long, the New Amsterdam continued to pack audiences in during the teens when Florenz Ziegfeld brought his lavish variety show the Ziegfeld Follies to the theater. Despite these successes, the New Amsterdam fell on hard times during the Great Depression, and by 1927 it had closed its doors.
But all was not lost — in 1997 Disney came to the rescue, restoring the theatre to its former glory and reopening it as the new home of its Broadway smash The Lion King. Simba and company have since moved to the nearby Minskoff Theatre, and in 2014 the New Amsterdam became the home of Disney’s Aladdin, a Tony Award-winning musical comedy that broke the house record at the New Amsterdam shortly after opening.
Check out the video below for more on the theater’s gorgeous design and fascinating back story, and experience the New Amsterdam’s rich history for yourself by picking up Aladdin tickets today.
As an official partner, Ticketmaster works exclusively with iconic stages and theaters across the country, and our appreciation for these majestic venues has only grown with time — subscribe to the Ticketmaster YouTube channel and stay tuned in the coming weeks for more of our Access Granted series.