As of today, the Broadway theater at 213 West 42nd Street most recently known as the Hilton Theater (after Hilton Hotels) has been renamed the Foxwoods Theater (after the Foxwoods Casino). And so yet another sign of the times for a theater that was initially named after a Greek god.
Live Nation, which bills itself as the world’s largest live entertainment company, bought the theater, and basically sold to Foxwoods Casino of Connecticut the right to name the theater after itself, as a marketing tool:
“Foxwoods recognizes the importance of entertainment to New Yorkers and the millions of travelers who visit New York every year, making the Foxwoods Theatre, in the heart of the historic Broadway theater district, an ideal venue for Foxwoods Resort Casino to reach new and existing customers,” said Micah Hollingsworth, General Manager Foxwoods Theatre. “The theater itself is the perfect combination of historic grandeur and modern conveniences.”
What is now being called the Foxwoods Theater began life a century ago, as two theaters, both of them with names more….lyrical. Built in 1903 by the composer Reginald de Koven, the Lyric Theater featured performers like Douglas Fairbanks and Fred and Adele Astaire. Built in 1920 by the Selwyn brothers, the Apollo Theater was initially named after the Greek god, and soon featured Lionel Barrymore starring as MacBeth.
In 1997, the two theaters, which had fallen into disrepute and disrepair, were developed by Canadian impresario (and now convicted felon) Garth Drabinsky and renamed the Ford Center for the Performing Arts, after the Ford Motor Company, debuting with the original Broadway run of the musical “Ragtime.”
It was renamed the Hilton Theater after the hotel chain in 2005, and eventually housed “Young Frankenstein.” As the Foxwoods, its first show will be “Spider-man: Turn Off The Dark” which is apt, since the show, the most expensive ever brought to Broadway, is considered a gamble.
From a Greek god to a car to a hotel to a casino/