As the first of six new theatres that the Shuberts built on West 48th and 49th street, the Ambassador Theatre opened in 1921.
Ambassador Theatre box office
Designed by veteran theatre architect Herbert J. Krapp, the theatre was configured in an unorthodox fashion, placing the auditorium diagonally on the site due to the theatre's narrow floor plan. This layout created a house that was wider than deep, offering an excellent view of the stage from all seats.
The theatre opened with a production of The Rose Girl, a musical starring Marjorie Gateson, on February 11, 1921.
Ambassador Theatre auditorium
Early in its history, the Ambassador staged operettas, an art form that was the rage in the 1920s. The house staged productions of Blossom Time, The Lady in Emine, Caroline, and more.
A change of fare came in 1925 when the highly successful revival of George Bernard Shaw’s play Candida moved from the Eltinge Theatre to the Ambassador.
The theatre returned to musicals in 1927 when it housed the hit musical Queen High, starring Charles Ruggles.
In 1935, the Shuberts sold their interest in the Ambassador, not buying it back until 1956. During those two decades, the theatre functioned as a movie theatre as well as a studio for radio and TV with theatrical productions being staged in the space periodically.
Throughout its history, the theatre has been of iconic shows including Dreamgirls, Ain’t Misbehavin’, Grease, and more.