Overview of New York Theatre

In general, New York theatres are divided into Broadway, Off-Broadway, and Off-Off-Broadway categories. Here are some simplified guidelines on each classification:


A theatre is classed as a Broadway Theatre if it is geographically located between 41st street and 54th Street and between 6th and 8th avenues in Manhattan and has a minimum of 500 seats. (Note: The Vivian Beaumont Theater, located at Lincoln Center by West 65th Street, is currently the only exception to this rule). Broadway Theatres are also mainly commercial theatres, although a handful are operated by not-for-profit theatre companies such as the Roundabout Theatre Company (eg. American Airlines Theatre) and Manhattan Theatre Club (eg. Samuel J. Friedman Theatre).


Generally, a theatre is classed as an Off-Broadway Theatre if it has a capacity of between 100 and 499 seats and is located in Manhattan. If a theatre has 99 seats or less, it is classed as an Off-Off-Broadway Theatre. Due to the size of the venues, the majority of Off-Broadway and Off-Off-Broadway Theatres are non-profit.

Note: This is only a simple guideline. There are exceptions to these rules which are open to debate.