Today In Disney History ~ November 11th
Beauty and the Beast opened on Broadway at the Palace Theatre on April 18, 1994, and ran there until September 5, 1999, originally starring Susan Egan. The show then transferred to the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre on November 11, 1999, with an official opening date of November 16, 1999. The musical closed on July 29, 2007 after 46 previews and 5,461 performances, and is Broadway’s ninth-longest running production in history (as of December 2014). The production holds the record of being the longest running production at both the Palace Theatre, where it opened, and the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, where it closed its Broadway run.
Opened in 1910, the Lunt-Fontanne theatre was originally named The Globe, after Shakespeare’s theatre in England. The theatre had a retractable roof to enable the theatre to stay cool and open during the summer. For nearly two decades, the theatre housed a variety of plays and musicals until 1932 when it was turned into a movie house.
In 1958, the theatre was gutted and rebuilt in its present configuration as a legitimate theatre. It was renamed in honor of America’s foremost husband/wife acting couple, Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne, who starred in its first production, The Visit. Theatregoers can enjoy a selection of photographs from their private collection on display throughout the lobby areas.
The Lunt-Fontanne has 1,505 seats and is one of The Nederlander Organization’s nine Broadway theatres.
TMSM Today in Graphic by Sherry Rinaldi DeHartv; luntfontannetheatre.com; wiki