New York Architecture Images- Gone / Demolished / Destroyed

Helen Hayes Theater


Herts & Tallant, architects.


210 W. 46th St., New York, NY


Built by Henry B. Harris and Jesse Lasky in April, 1911.


French Empire







Helen Hayes Theatre
210 W. 46th St., New York, NY
Seats (approximate): 895

Herts & Tallant, architects. Built by Henry B. Harris and Jesse Lasky in April, 1911. Intended to be a dinner theatre, complete with tables in the orchestra and boxes, but this policy did not last. By October, the tables were removed and it was renamed the Fulton. Abraham L. Erlanger managed it from 1921 until 1930 (his death). In 1955, it was renamed for the First Lady of the Theatre, Helen Hayes. In 1982, it was torn down (along with five neighboring theatres) to make room for the new Marriott Hotel.
Built: 1911 Demolished: 1982

46th Street near Broadway

When the theater opened, under the name Folies- Bergère, its vibrant terra cotta facade of gold, turquoise and old ivory instantly made it “the brightest, most eye-catching theater along the Rialto,” Nicholas van Hoogstraten wrote in his 1991 book, “Lost Broadway Theaters.”

For seven decades, generations of theatergoers strode under its marquee to see luminaries like Bela Lugosi in “Dracula” and Audrey Hepburn in “Gigi.” But in 1982, the Helen Hayes — it had been renamed in 1955 to honor the doyenne of the American stage — it was razed along with two other vintage Broadway theaters, the Morosco and the Bijou, both from 1917, to make way for the Marriott Marquis Hotel.

The Helen Hayes and the Morosco conveyed a sense of occasion that avid theatergoers find lacking in newer auditoriums. “Theater architecture generally was designed so that the show would begin before the curtain went up,” said Joseph Rosenberg, who conducts theater-oriented tours in the city. “It’s like walking into a church. You walk into a church, and you get certain feelings and certain warmth and certain expectations of what’s going to follow.”

The Little Theater, on 44th Street, was renamed the Helen Hayes Theater in 1983, a year after the original was razed.