The Samuel J. Friedman Theatre originally opened on December 7, 1925 as the Biltmore Theatre. Herbert J. Krapp designed the building for impresario Irwin Chanin. Its inaugural production was Easy Come Easy Go.
From 1952 to 1962, CBS used the theatre for television and radio broadcasting purposes. In 1963, it reopened as a traditional theatre with Neil Simon's Barefoot in the Park.
In 1987, the theatre closed following an arson attack and sat vacant for 14 years. In 2001, Manhattan Theatre Club took over the venue and reopened the performance space in 2003 after renovations. MTC renamed it the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre on September 4, 2008, to honor the Broadway publicist.
The Samuel J. Friedman Theatre is closest to the 50th Street subway stop on the C and E line. The closest bus stops are 8 Av/W 46th St. on the M20 and M104 lines and 8th Ave/W 43rd St. on the M34A-SBS line.
The Samuel J. Friedman Theatre is located across the street from three popular pre- and post-show restaurants: Trattoria Trecolori (Italian), Glass House Tavern (American), and Friedman's (American). Also nearby are the Irish pubs Mean Fiddler and Playwrights Celtic Pub, as well as Restaurant Row, the stretch of 46th Street between Eighth and Ninth Avenues lined with eateries.