Step Inside: Lena Horne Theatre, A Venue Worth Losing Your Head Over

Divorced, beheaded, live! Home to the popular concert musical SIX, you’ll find the Lena Horne Theatre on the north end of Manhattan’s Theater District. The Spanish revival-style venue may serve as the stage for the six wives of King Henry VIII to overthrow the historical narrative eight times a week, but it also boasts a fascinating nearly 100-year history of its own — having been rechristened twice, hosted the legendary Josephine Baker on multiple occasions, and even used as a one-of-a-kind television studio throughout the 1950s.

The Lena Horne Theatre box office is located at 256 W 47th St, and is open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and Sunday from 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

What Events Are Coming Up at Lena Horne Theatre?

See upcoming events and buy Broadway tickets for SIX at the Lena Horne Theatre right here on Ticketmaster.

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Lena Horne Theatre History

Recently renamed after the legendary singer, Broadway star and civil rights activist, the Lena Horne Theatre opened its doors in 1926 as the Mansfield Theatre. After initially struggling to bring in hit shows, the venue was purchased by producer Michael Myerberg in 1945. Five years later, the new owner leased the theater to CBS, which used the Mansfield to film TV shows like What’s My Line? and I’ve Got a Secret under the name Studio 59.

In 1960, Myerberg renamed the venue the Brooks Atkinson Theatre (after the renowned New York Times theater critic) and returned it to use as a Broadway theater. Notable productions in the following decades included Tennessee Williams’ The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore, numerous solo appearances by Josephine Baker, the controversial 1963 drama The Deputy and 1974’s Of Mice and Men starring James Earl Jones and Pamela Blair.

The New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission designated the theater as a protected New York City landmark in November 1987. Popular productions in recent years have included the 2007 revival of Grease, 2009’s Rock of Ages, 2012’s Peter and the Starcatcher and, of course, the four-time Tony-nominated Waitress, which opened in 2016 and became the theater’s longest-running show before closing in January 2020.

Amid the COVID-19 shutdown, the theater was rechristened for Lena Horne, becoming the first Broadway theater named in honor of a Black woman. Over the course of her groundbreaking career, the entertainer performed in Dance With Your Gods (1934) and Lew Leslie’s Blackbirds of 1939 (1939); earned a Tony nomination for her starring role in Jamaica (1957) and headlined multiple Broadway residencies including Tony and Lena Sing in 1974 with Tony Bennett and Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music in 1981 — the latter of which earned her a special Tony Award.. She even served as host of the 37th annual Tonys in 1983. Since its post-pandemic reopening, the Lena Horne Theatre has been home to SIX, the modern musical retelling of the lives of the six wives of Henry VIII in the form of an electrifying pop concert.

SIX has a runtime of 80 minutes, with no intermission. Learn more about the show on SIX’s official website.

Parking and Admission at Lena Horne Theatre

There is no designated on-site parking at the Lena Horne Theatre. However, there are numerous parking options in the Broadway Theater District. Various parking options in the Times Square area can be viewed via SpotHero. Taxis can also stop outside the theater for dropoff and pickup.

Items prohibited inside the Lena Horne Theatre include weapons of any kind (such as firearms, ammunition, knives, mace, scissors, etc.), any illegal substances, outside food and/or beverages, large professional cameras and/or video recording equipment and more. For a complete list of prohibited items, please review the Lena Horne Theatre’s official Rules ahead of your visit.

Lena Horne Theatre Bag Policy

All bags will be inspected upon arrival at the Lena Horne Theatre. No bags or luggage will be checked during the performance. Do not leave your personal bags (purses, backpacks, etc.) unattended while in the theater.

Lena Horne Theatre Dress Code

There is no specific dress code at the Lena Horne Theatre. However, there are other in-theater policies that can be viewed on the venue’s official Rules page.

Lena Horne Theatre Capacity & Seating Options

The Lena Horne Theatre has a capacity of 1,069 divided between an Orchestra and a Balcony, the latter of which also contains box seats near the front of the auditorium.

What Are the Best Seats at Lena Horne Theatre?

The best seats at Lena Horne Theatre vary depending on the event and personal preferences. The Lena Horne Theatre seating chart can be viewed on SeatPlan.

Things to Do Near Lena Horne Theatre

There’s nowhere that the hustle and bustle of New York City comes alive more than in the Theater District, and there’s so much to see and do before or after your show at Lena Horne Theatre.

Take in the iconic view of Times Square; walk a few blocks to visit the Museum of Modern Art or go shopping along Fifth Avenue; check out popular destinations like Rockefeller Center, Top of the Rock and Radio City Music Hall; see a movie at the AMC Empire 25 or be entertained by the vendors, buskers and other performers in Midtown Manhattan.

Hotels Near Lena Horne Theatre

New York City’s Theater District has dozens of hotels for visitors to choose from. Below are a number of options within just a few blocks of the Lena Horne Theatre:

Restaurants Near Lena Horne Theatre

New York City is home to cuisine from all across the globe and options for a great meal near Lena Horne Theatre are nearly endless — from a quick bite on the go to a nice, sit-down meal before or after the show.

Below are a number of dining options in Midtown Manhattan within walking distance from Lena Horne Theatre:

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