- The lavishly appointed theatre at Sixth Avenue and 23rd Street in New York was constructed at a cost of more than a million dollars, while Edwin Booth toured strenuously to pay for its construction. Among its innovations—which may be credited to his designer Charles W. Witham—were a flat-floor stage (as opposed to the raked stages that were still prevalent then) and a scene construction shop within the facility. Heavily mortgaged, it opened to critical acclaim on 3 February 1869. However, even capacity audiences could not sustain it, given Booth's insistence on high standards of production. In 1875, Booth succumbed to bankruptcy and lost his theatre. Subsequent managers were similarly unable to run it at a profit. The final performance at Booth's Theatre, on 30 April 1883, starred Helena Modjeska and Maurice Barrymore, after which the real estate was turned to more lucrative commercial interests. Booth's Theatre (1869-1883) is not to be confused with the Booth Theatre at 222 West 45th Street, which opened in 1913.
The Historical Dictionary of the American Theater. James Fisher.
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