The George Gershwin Theatre was originally named the Uris
. When it opened in 1972 it was the first large Broadway theatre to be built since the Earl Carroll in 1931. Occupying six stories of the new Uris Building on the site of the old Capitol movie palace at Broadway and Fifty-first Street, the huge theatre, with more than 1,900 seats, was designed by the late set designer Ralph Alswang. At the time of the theatre's opening, Mr. Alswang told PLAYBILL: "The Uris represents what I think is the total philosophy of modern musical comedy house--seating, sight lines, acoustics--the economy and aesthetics of this kind of theatre. I was given a completely free hand by the Uris people and by the Nederlanders and Gerard Oestreicher, who have a thirty-year lease on the house. "
Another "first" for a legitimate theatre is a revolutionary automatic rigging system called Hydra-Float. Mr. Alswang estimated that the theatre's building cost would amount to about $12.5 million.
A special feature of the theatre is the inclusion of a theatre Hall of Fame with the names of stage greats inscribed in bas-relief on the walls of an impressive rotunda. Another rotunda on the theatre's other side may be used for theatrical exhibitions. The Hall of Fame rotunda was suggested to the Nederlanders by Earl Blackwell.
The Uris opened on November 18, 1972,with a spectacular rock musical, "Via Galactica," with Raul Julia and Virginia Vestoff as space beings in the year 2972. Unfortunately, the special effects were more dazzling than the show and it closed after only seven performances.
Since 1972, the Gershwin has been the home of such memorable shows as:
Porgy and Bess (1976)
The King and I (1977, with Yul Brynner and Constance Towers)
Sweeney Todd (1979, with Angela Lansbury)
The Pirates of Penzance (1980, with Kevin Kline and Linda Ronstadt)
My Fair Lady (1981, with Rex Harrison)
Mame (1983, with Angela Lansbury)
Starlight Express (1987)
Uris also had a hand in some of New York's landmark buildings, such as the New York Hilton (Avenue of the Americas), the Sperry
-Rand Building and 55 Water Street (which when opened in 1972, was the largest privately owned office building in the world).
Fantastic vignette features three steel workers on a beam, with the Brooklyn Bridge in the background.Certificate:
Common Stock, issued in the 1960’sPrinter: American Bank Note Company Dimensions:
8” (h) x 12” (w) State: NY-New York Subject Matter: Real Estate and Related Vignette Topic(s): Male Subject
| Brooklyn Bridge Featured Condition:
Vertical fold lines, punch hole cancels in the signature areas and body, stray staple holes and markings.