Merriam Theater - Philadelphia, PA
Posted by: silverquill
N 39° 56.855 W 075° 09.888
18S E 485921 N 4421952
Quick Description: The Merriam Theater opened on August 26th, 1918 as the Sam S. Shubert Theater and most recently was taken over in 1972 by the Pennsylvania Musical Academy, now the University of the Arts.
Location: Pennsylvania, United States
Date Posted: 12/16/2007 10:12:32 PM
Waymark Code: WM2T33
The Merriam Theater, located at 250 South Broad Street (Avenue of the Arts) in Philadelphia, has played an integral and entertaining role in the city's cultural life. The theater, which has a seating capacity of 1,870 was taken over in 1972 by the Pennsylvania Musical Academy, now the University of the Arts.
The Merriam Theater opened on August 26th, 1918 as the Sam S. Shubert Theater, with a road production of a musical from London and New York called Chu Chow Chin. In the early years, Gershwin musicals and Al Jolson reviews graced the Shubert stage. John Barrymore played Hamlet in the 1920s and burlesque was featured in the 1930s. Other performers included: Helen Hayes, Katharine Hepburn, Sammy Davis Jr., Angela Lansbury, and Sir Laurence Olivier
The first two stages of a $4.1 million renovation of the Shubert, which included work on the theater's stage and backstage were completed in October, 1986 and the renovation of the main hall was completed in time for the Pennsylvania Ballet's performance in April 1987. In the summer of 1991, the theater was dedicated to John W. Merriam, a local entrepreneur, who was active on the Board of Directors of the University of the Arts for many years.
Since 1987, the Merriam Theater has become the number one Broadway roadhouse in Philadelphia and is also the home of the Pennsylvania Ballet, musical concerts, comedy shows, gospels and The Gilbert and Sullivan International Festival.