Known for being one of the city's oldest theaters, The Belasco Theatre is a Broadway theatre opened in 1907 at 111 West 44th Street in midtown-Manhattan. Originally known as the Stuyvesant Theatre, it was designed by architect George Keister for impresario David Belasco, it's founder.. The interior featured Tiffany lighting and ceiling panels, rich woodwork and expansive murals by American artist Everett Shinn, and a ten-room duplex penthouse apartment that Belasco utilized as combination living quarters/office space.
The spirit of Mr. Belasco has been sighted by many, appearing as a solid person wearing a cleric collar and cassock, an outfit he had often worn in life earning him the nickname "The Bishop of Broadway." This and other strange phenomena have been attributed to him since his death in 1931. Staff and performers have seen him watching rehearsals and opening performances from a private box in the balcony, footsteps are heard late at night in the empty theater, and doors open and shut on their own. There have been claims that the ghost will interact with actors and give handshakes to some of them, with some actors reporting to have seen him in a private box on opening nights and during rehearsals. Many people have reported hearing footsteps in the theatre late at night after everyone left the building as well as hearing Belasco’s private elevator running, even though it has been disconnected for years. Poltergeist activity has been reported, with furniture and belongings being tossed in dressing rooms after poor performances. Others maintain his ghost left after the play Oh Calcutta!, known for its nude scenes, was performed there in 1977.
Claims also include seeing a lady in blue who is either David Belasco’s girlfriend, or a chorus girl from the theaters early years. There have been numerous reports of seeing her in the theatre.
The Belasco theater is still the site of Broadway performances and is owned by the Schubert Organization.
111 West 44th Street, New York, NY 10036