Designed by Warren and Wetmore, the St. James Theatre was built by producer Abraham L. Erlanger on the site of the original Sardi's restaurant (which is now located down the block). The theatre opened in 1927 as The Erlanger with the inaugural production Merry Malones.
The Astor family took over the venue in 1930 after Erlanger's death and renamed it the St. James Theatre in 1932.
The Shubert Organization took control in 1941 before relinquishing the building to William L. McKnight in 1957. In 1970, he passed it on to his daughter Virginia and her husband James H. Binger, the founders of theatre-ownership company Jujamcyn Theaters. The organization still operates the St. James today.
The St. James Theatre is nearest to the 42nd Street - Port Authority subway stop on the A, C, and E lines. The nearest bus stops are 7th Ave/W 44th St. on the M4, M20, and M014 line; and W 43rd St./8th Ave on the M20, M104, and M34A-SBS line.
Popular restaurants that share a block with the St. James Theatre include Sardi's (American), John's (pizza/Italian), and Carmine's (Italian). Other nearby American diners and restaurants include Peachy Keen, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., and Hard Rock Cafe.