Shubert Alley

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Shubert Alley is a narrow 300ft long pedestrian alley at the heart of the Broadway theater district of New York City. It splits a block, as it runs parallel to and between Eighth Avenue and Broadway, linking West 44th Street to West 45th Street. It contains approximately 6400sqft of public space.The alley has been considered the geographical center of Broadway theatre. Richard Hornby wrote in 1991 that: "In New York, the desirability of a theatre is inversely proportional to its distance from Shubert Alley."The early years (1912–49)The alley was originally built as a fire exit between the Shubert Theatre (on 44th Street) and Booth Theatre (on 45th Street), and the Astor Hotel (bounded by Broadway, Astor Plaza, and West 44th and 45th Streets), as fire laws of the time required that there be room for fire equipment in the event of an emergency. The Astor Hotel, which had opened in 1904, was demolished in 1968, and its location is now occupied by the high-rise 50-story office tower, One Astor Plaza.The Shubert and Booth Theatres, which both opened in 1913, were owned by Lee and Jacob J. Shubert. The alley is called the Shubert Alley because the Shuberts, who were then New York's most powerful theater owners and producers, had their offices overlooking it and rented the alley. They leased it from the Astor estate in 1912, in a decades-long-lease.

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346 W 44th St
New York, NY
10036

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