Brooks Atkinson Theatre

The Brooks Atkinson Theatre is a two-tier theatre on Broadway in New York, located at 256 West 47th Street in Manhattan. It opened in 1926, as the Mansfield Theatre.


In the 1910s and 1920s, theatres were being designed and built in New York’s Broadway area. The Palace Theatre opened in 1913, the National Theatre (now known as the Nederlander Theatre) opened in 1921 and Chanin’s 46th Street Theatre (now known as the Richard Rodgers Theatre) opened In 1925.

Architect Herbert J. Krapp designed a new theatre for 46th Street, which was built by the Chanin brothers. Opening in 1926, the theatre was known as the Mansfield Theatre, named after the late actor Richard Mansfield, who died in 1907. In 1933, the theatre fell into relative disuse until 1945, when Michael Myerberg bought and leased it to the television network, CBS. It was referred to as CBS Studio 59, although never officially changed its name, and shows including What’s My Line? and I’ve Got a Secret were regularly filmed there.

In 1960, when the CBS lease was up, the decision was made to return it to use as as a theatre, and it was renamed the Brooks Atkinson Theatre, after the New York Times theatre critic, Brooks Atkinson. The first show to play was Neil Simon’s Come Blow Your Own Horn, which ran from 22 February 1961 through to 6 October 1962. In 1967, the Nederlander Organization invested into the Brooks Atkinson Theatre, and became co-owners. Same Time, Next Year, written by Bernard Slade, about an extramarital affair conducted for one day per year for 24 years. It became the longest running show at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre up until Waitress, transferring to the Ambassadors Theatre on 16 May 1978.

In 2000, the interior of the theatre was refurbished and restored to its original design, with the chandelier that was in the theatre originally restored. The chandelier had been removed over 40 years previously, when the theatre was leased to CBS. In 2007, Grease was revived at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre, closing in January 2009, before Rock of Ages opened and stayed from 7 April 2009 to 9 January 2011, when it moved to the Helen Hayes Theatre. The theatre housed a sequence of limited egnagements – RAIN: A Tribute to The Beatles, Relatively Speaking, Peter and the Starcatcher, Hands on a Hardbody, After Midnight, Love Letters, It Shoulda Been You and Spring Awakening. Waitress opened for previews on 25 March 2016, officially opening on 24 April 2016. Waitress also set the box office record for the Brooks Atkinson Theatre, grossing $1,608,292 in the week ending 21 January 2018 over 8 performances, whilst Sara Bareilles and Jason Mraz were starring together in the show. Waitress will close at the theatre on 5 January 2020; British musical Six will open on 13 February 2020 for previews, with opening night on 12 March 2020.

NameBrooks Atkinson Theatre
OwnerNederlander Organization
Capacity1069 people