Step Inside: Nederlander Theatre – The Visitor’s Everything Guide

It starts with that distinctive brick — that’s the first thing that stands out. Then comes the name: The Nederlander Theatre is named in memory of David Tobias Nederlander, father of Tony-award winning producer James N. Nederlander. Finally, it’s the pedigree. The theater is most well-known for being the longstanding home of RENT, the Broadway sensation that ran there from 1996 to 2008.

Operated by the Nederlander Organization, the Nederlander in NYC is not to be confused with the James M. Nederlander Theatre in Chicago, located on Randolph Street in the Loop. The Nederlander Theatre and its box office are located at 208 W 41st St, between 7th and 8th Avenues, and the box office is open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Here’s what else is behind that brick facade.

What Events Are Coming Up at Nederlander Theatre?

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Nederlander Theatre History

The Nederlander Theatre was originally built in 1920 as a carpenter’s shop before being converted into a Broadway theater the following year. Its inaugural show was the 1921 production of playwright Sidney Howard’s Swords. In the late 1920s, the Shubert Brothers purchased the building and managed the theater through 1956, when they were forced to sell it due to the federal government’s antitrust suit against the Shubert Organization. 

After two embattled decades of ownership under theater impresario Billy Rose, during which it often sat empty, the theater was purchased in 1978 by the Nederlander Organization and the Cooney-Marsh Organization. Temporarily renamed Trafalgar Theatre to evoke the new owners’ British backgrounds, the venue only staged two productions before again being rechristened the Nederlander Theatre in 1980 after the late David T. Nederlander.

One of the first productions under the theater’s current name was Lena Horne’s solo revue, Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music, which ran for 333 performances from May 12, 1981 to the songstress’s 65th birthday on June 30, 1982. In the late 1980s, the Nederlander Theatre was leased to the Times Square Church, during which time church services led to the venue being packed to standing room-only capacity five days a week.

Of course, the most famous show to make its home at the Nederlander Theatre was the original Broadway production of RENT, which premiered in April 1996. The Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning musical by Jonathan Larson became one of the longest-running and most culturally impactful shows in Broadway history, and helped make stars of future Broadway legends like Adam Pascal, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Anthony Rapp, Idina Menzel, Jesse L. Martin and more.

Following RENT’s closing in 2008 after 5,140 performances, other notable productions at the Nederlander Theatre have included Newsies (2012–2014), War Paint starring Patti LuPone and Christine Ebersole (2017), Pretty Woman: The Musical (2018–2019), Kristin Chenoweth: For the Girls (2019), Shucked (2023) and the Broadway revival of The Who’s Tommy (2024).

Parking & Admission at Nederlander Theatre

There is no designated on-site parking at the Nederlander 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 Nederlander 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 Nederlander Theatre’s Security Policies ahead of your visit.

As for the Nederlander Theatre’s minimum age, children under 4 years old will not be admitted into the venue.

Nederlander Theatre Bag Policy

All bags are subject to inspection upon arrival at Nederlander Theatre and should fit comfortably beneath your seat. Luggage, shopping bags and other large packages will not be checked or allowed inside the theater.

Nederlander Theatre Dress Code

There is no dress code at the Nederlander Theatre.

Nederlander Theatre Capacity & Seating Options

The Nederlander Theatre has a capacity of 1,232 seats divided between two sections: Orchestra and Mezzanine.

What Are the Best Seats at Nederlander Theatre?

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

Things to Do Near Nederlander 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 Nederlander Theatre. 

Take in the iconic view of Times Square; go shopping at Forever 21, the Disney flagship store, Old Navy, Gap, Express or H&M; walk one block east to Bryant Park and the New York Public Library; check out popular destinations like the One Times Square skyscraper, Madame Tussauds New York wax museum or Dave & Buster’s; see a movie at the AMC Empire 25 or be entertained by the vendors, buskers and other performers in the heart of Times Square.

Hotels Near Nederlander Theatre

New York City’s Theater District offers a wide array of hotel options for every budget. Below are a number of hotels within just a few blocks of Nederlander Theatre:

Restaurants Near Nederlander Theatre

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