At This Theatre: Biltmore Theatre
The Biltmore Theatre opened at 261 W. 47th Street in 1925, designed by architect Herbert J. Krapp and produced by the Chanin brothers. The Biltmore Theatre premiered comedies such as The Heiress, My Sister Eileen, What a Life, and Brother Rat. Neil Simon’s Barefoot in the Park, starring Robert Redford, opened here, and the legendary rock musical Hair premiered in 1968. After several short runs, the empty Biltmore Theatre fell into disrepair in the late 1980s, plagued by vandals, arsonists, and looters. In 2001, the Manhattan Theatre Club purchased and fully restored the theatre, and it was renamed the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre in 2008.