This Day in the Arts — March 20 in Broadway Theatre History

We’re back on Broadway for today’s segment of This Day in the Arts, but this time we’re looking at the history of a theatre, rather than one particular production. On March 20, 1911, the Winter Garden Theatre opened on Broadway. It had previously been a horse exchange — horses and carriages were what made “Long Acre Square” (later Times Square) popular before that time, to give way to another sort of hoofer when the building was transformed into a lavish — and large — theatre. Because of its previous purpose, there was a LOT of space across what became the stage area, and the proscenium was the widest of any theatre on Broadway. Broadway today has the Shuberts of that era to thank for the Winter Garden and other well-known theatres on the Great White Way.