Broadway 4D Theaters, LLC today announced it has entered into a long term lease for the Times Square Theater with The New 42nd Street, Inc., the nonprofit cultural organization responsible for the reinvention of seven of the block's historic theaters including the Times Square Theater, located at 217 West 42nd Street. Plans are underway for a full and classic restoration to return the theater to its historic glory, bringing the last of the original historic Broadway theaters located on 42nd Street back to life. The developers are creating Broadway Sensation – A 4D Musical Spectacular, which includes a 3D film enhanced show with in-theater special effects, to celebrate the Broadway Musical with the latest theater and 4D film technology. The theater is currently scheduled to open in the late spring or early summer of 2013.
"We are delighted that the last of 42nd Street's historic theaters now has a very exciting tenant who is dedicated to restoring the Times Square Theater as a place to celebrate Broadway musicals of the past, the present and the future," said Cora Cahan, President of The New 42nd Street. "With Broadway 4D's renovation of the Times Square, The New 42nd Street continues to fulfill its commitment to the City and State of New York to reinvent the historic theaters on the block as places of popular art and culture for the 21st century and beyond," Ms. Cahan added.
In committing to a classic renovation, Broadway 4D Theaters will fully embrace the historic preservation requirements established by New York State and New York City when they formed the 42nd Street redevelopment project in the mid-80s. The preservation guidelines for this theater require principally maintaining the domed ceiling, the stage's proscenium arch, the mezzanine and the frieze behind the colonnade on the theater's façade. John Sergio Fisher and Associates, the project architect and noted expert in theater renovation, has submitted schematic design and historic preservation plans that adhere closely to the original 1920 design of architects de Rosa and Pereira. Fisher is noted for his expertise both in restoring theaters to their historic beauty and for equipping live theaters with the latest 4D film technology.
While achieving a classic renovation, the plan will also add unique design features. First, it will provide audiences with a once-in-a-lifetime backstage experience-as patrons will enter through the theater's original stage door, once reserved only for actors and crew, and be treated to a pre-show in an authentically rigged backstage environment. In addition, as the Time Square Theater has the longest frontage of any theater on one of the most trafficked streets in New York City-100 feet on 42nd Street-the plan calls for a spectacular 20 ft x 100 ft technologically advanced marquee that will add further glamour to the already bustling 42nd Street. Finally, the theater will house the latest 4D film technology to create a spectacular immersive experience like non-other available anywhere in the world.
The basic re-use plan for the renovated theater has already received approval from the New York City Department of Buildings and final review of the plans for historic preservation is well underway.
Established as a nonprofit organization by the City and State of New York in 1990, The New 42nd Street was charged with revitalizing the seven historic theaters on 42nd Street, including the Times Square Theater. To date, the organization has established new uses for all but the Times Square Theater, which has remained vacant. This newly announced lease agreement between The New 42nd Street and Broadway 4D, for the creation of Broadway Sensation, reinforces the mission of The New 42nd Street to not only restore the theaters to operation, but in the process, to strengthen New York City's role as the country's premier entertainment city, to provide diversity of entertainment while serving a broad demographic, to reestablish 42nd Street as a destination, to contribute to the performing arts, to foster popular priced entertainment, and to encourage private capital investment in this City/State economic redevelopment project.
"We are proud to say that Broadway 4D is designed to meet each and every one of these goals," stated Gary Goddard, the creative principal of Broadway 4D. "We look forward to a great relationship with New 42 and with the Broadway community that we celebrate as our creative partners."
Broadway 4D has obtained significant backing from leaders of the film and theatrical creative communities. Tony Award winning producer and creator of many of the most popular 3D and 4D attractions in the world today, Gary Goddard, will lead the creative team. Working with Goddard will be renowned director and producer, Bryan Singer. Singer and Goddard will produce and direct the 3D film, and noted film and TV executive Jeff Sagansky is serving as Executive Producer. The greatest songs from the greatest Broadway musicals, penned by the most famous songwriters, including Rodgers and Hammerstein, Kander and Ebb, Charles Strouse and Martin Charnin as well as many others, will be performed by Broadway and Hollywood stars. "Projects of this magnitude and this innovative take time to develop," said Jeff Sagansky. "This project is actually proceeding at a fast pace. We look forward to more announcements about the creative aspects of the project as we move toward opening."
Producer and theater owner Jimmy Nederlander, Jr. added, "This is a great project that will only expand the audience for Broadway shows and add to the range of entertainment in Times Square."