This theater expresses the romantic spirit and eclectic interests of David Belasco, an influential producer, director, and playwright. The auditorium is broad and shallow with two cantilevered balconies, and instead of chandeliers, there are illuminated glass column capitals, colored glass ceiling fixtures, and small pendant lanterns that serve as house lights.
The 1982 destruction of the Helen Hayes and Morosco theaters ignited a battle to save Broadway theaters. The Belasco was one of the first theaters to be considered for landmark designation, despite opposition from theater owners. The LPC passed special theater guidelines allowing interior alterations as long as they are reversible.
In 2010, the Shubert Organization, owner of the Belasco and 17 other Broadway theaters, commissioned architect Francesca Russo to restore the interior: the side boxes (demolished in 1975 for the Rocky Horror Picture Show) were recreated along with other fixtures and plasterwork, murals were cleaned, stained glass was replaced or repaired, new seats and carpets were installed. David Belasco would have approved.
Photographs 1, 2, 4, 6 & 7 by T. Whitney Cox