Venue History

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Venue History

Roundabout Theatre Company always dreamed of having a permanent home. Over the course of its first 25 years, Roundabout moved from a 150-seat space in the basement of a Chelsea supermarket to a converted movie theatre, then to Union Square, and on Broadway at the Criterion Center in Times Square. Roundabout seemed destined to live up to its name far too literally. 
In 1995, Roundabout transformed the cabaret space next to its main stage theatre at the Criterion Center into an intimate, state-of-the-art off-Broadway theatre, with the extraordinary support of Laura Pels and Cory and Bob Donnalley. But soon the dramatic revitalization and rising costs of Times Square forced Roundabout out of its home. Roundabout embarked on a $24 million capital campaign to restore and renovate the vacant Selwyn Theatre on West 42nd Street into a state-of-the-art Broadway theatre, later renamed the American Airlines Theatre in recognition of an unprecedented corporate partnership.
The Laura Pels Theatre was temporarily moved to the Gramercy Theatre on 23rd Street, for the 1999–2002 seasons, but the search for a permanent home came to an end with the signing of a long-term lease on the former American Place Theatre. The lead support of the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust made possible a major renovation of the new theatre center, now known as the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre. It opened in 2004, and in 2005, Roundabout completed the Black Box Theatre that provides a very intimate performance and rehearsal space for Roundabout artists and for performances by New York City public school students in Roundabout's arts education programs. It is home to Roundabout Underground, an initiative launched in 2007 supporting the work of emerging writers and directors.
Meanwhile, during the six-year run of Cabaret, Roundabout had fallen in love with Studio 54, formerly the infamous nightclub of the ’70s and ’80s, and moved forward with negotiations to purchase the space in 2003. An unprecedented $6.75 million capital grant from the City of New York made possible the $22.5 million purchase.
In 2007, as Henry Miller’s Theatre was undergoing a massive interior rebuilding at the base of the newly constructed One Bryant Park–Bank of America Tower, the Durst Organization and Bank of America  announced that Roundabout would operate Henry Miller's Theatre as its third Broadway house. New York's first LEED Gold Broadway theater opened in September 2009. A year later, in honor of the composers’ 80th birthday in 2010, the theater was renamed the Stephen Sondheim Theatre.