The theatre originally opened as the Stuyvesant Theatre on 16th October 1907 with a production of A Grand Army Man. It was designed by George Keister for impresario David Belasco, who renamed the theatre after himself in 1910. The first production to be staged under the new name was The Lily, an adaptation by Belasco of Leroux's Le Lys. In 1931 the theatre was leased to Katherine Cornell and went on to be purchased by the Shubert Organization in 1948. From 1949 to 1953 the building was leased to NBC for broadcasting, before it returned back to a traditional theatre.