Metropolitan Hall, New York City

Metropolitan Hall, New York City The first theatre in New York City to bear the name The Winter Garden Theatre had a brief but important seventeen-year history (beginning in 1850) as one of New York's premier showcases for a wide range of theatrical fare, from Variety shows to extravagant productions of the works of Shakespeare.

Initially known as Tripler's Hall or Metropolitan Hall, it burned down in 1854 and was rebuilt as The New York Theatre. Although it burned to the ground several times, it rose from the ashes under different managers, bearing various names, to become known as one of the most important theatres in New York history.ShowcaseSome of the leading actors and theatre managers of the 19th century worked at The Winter Garden Theatre, from Jenny Lind and Laura Keene to Dion Boucicault and Edwin Booth. One of the most significant and politically influential productions in American theatre history took place on a single night at The Winter Garden Theatre on November 25, 1864, when three sons of one of America's great tragedians, Junius Brutus Booth, namely Junius Brutus Booth, Jr., Edwin Booth, and John Wilkes Booth staged a benefit performance of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar to raise funds to build a statue of Shakespeare in Central Park; four months later John Wilkes would assassinate Abraham Lincoln in Washington D.C. as he cried out the historic words of Brutus in ancient Rome. Throughout its seventeen-year history, The Winter Garden Theatre played a significant role in the history of the American theatre.

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