Bowery Theatre



  • A former New York theater that made the name of Edwin Forrestand over the years presented such varied fare as classic drama, pantomime,melodrama, burlesque, and German-language works. This was despitethe Bowery burning down six times within a century (including threetimes in the nine years 1836 - 45).

    The theater opened in 1826 as the New York Theatre, Bowery,managed by the actor George H. Barrett and his partner Gilbert. Litby gas, it opened with Thomas Holcroft's The Road to Ruin beforeintroducing its audiences to Forrest, who made his first appearanceas Othello.

    In 1828 the Bowery burned down but reopened three months laterunder Thomas Hamblin, who introduced the first continuous runs ofplays and remained there until 1850. The Bowery burned down againin 1836, 1838, and 1845. In 1858 George L. Fox and James W. Lingardbegan to present their melodramas and pantomimes at the Bowery. Duringthe Civil War, it was occupied by troops and presented circus acts.The venue subsequently turned to burlesque, before closingin 1878; when it reopened a year later it was as the Thalia Theatre,a home to German-language works. Further fires occurred in 1923 and1929, when the theater closed permanently.

    Another Bowery Theatre, later renamed the Stadt Theatre, openedin 1835 with circus acts and later introduced drama and German operas.In 1859 Fox and Lingard opened the New Bowery Theatre, which enjoyeda notable success with Uncle Tom's Cabin. This theater wasalso destroyed by fire in 1866.