|Founder||Sam S., Jacob J. and Lee Shubert|
The Shubert Organization is a theatrical producing organization and a major owner of theatres based in Manhattan, New York City. It was founded by the three Shubert brothers in the late 19th century. They steadily expanded, owning many theaters in New York and across the country. Since then it has gone through changes of ownership, but is still a major theater chain.
The Shubert Organization was founded by the Shubert brothers, Sam S. Shubert, Lee Shubert, and Jacob J. Shubert of Syracuse, New York – colloquially and collectively known as "The Shuberts" – in the late 19th century in upstate New York, entering into New York City productions in 1900. The organization produced a large number of shows and began acquiring theaters. Sam Shubert died in 1905; by 1916 the two remaining brothers had become powerful theater moguls with a nationwide presence.
In 1907, the Shuberts tried to enter vaudeville with the United States Amusement Co. In the spring of 1920 they made another attempt, establishing the Shubert Advanced Vaudeville with Lee Shubert as President and playing two shows per day in Boston, Dayton, Detroit, Cleveland, Chicago, Philadelphia and in September 1921 opening in New York.
In April 1922, the Shuberts teamed with Isidore Herk and E. Thomas Beatty to form the Affiliated Theatres Corporation, which would book shows for the chain. Faced with fierce competition from the B. F. Keith Circuit, the Shuberts closed their vaudeville operation in February 1923.
By 1929, the Shubert Theatre chain included Broadway's most important venues, the Winter Garden, the Sam S. Shubert, and the Imperial Theaters, and owned, managed, operated, or booked nearly a thousand theaters nationwide. The company continued to produce stage productions in New York until the 1940s, returning to producing Broadway productions in the 1970s after a hiatus.
The company was reorganized in 1973, and as of 2016 owned or operated seventeen Broadway theaters in New York City, two off-Broadway theaters -- Stage 42 and New World Stages -- and the Forrest Theatre in Philadelphia. It leases Boston's Shubert Theatre to the Citi Performing Arts Center. Shubert Ticketing, which includes Telecharge, handles tickets for 70 theaters.
Several former Shubert-owned theaters across the United States are still referred to by the Shubert name. One of the most famous is the New Haven Shubert, the second theater ever built by the Shubert Organization. Until the 1970s, major Broadway producers often premiered shows there before opening in New York. It was immortalized in many mid-20th century films, such as All About Eve.
Another important regional theater was the Shubert in Chicago, Illinois, located within the Majestic Building at 22 West Monroe Street. Originally known as the Majestic Theatre, the Shubert Organization purchased it in 1945 and rechristened it the "Sam Shubert Theatre". The Shuberts sold the theatre to the Nederlander Organization in 1991 and is now known as the CIBC Theatre.
In 2016, it sold longtime headquarters at 1700 Broadway, to Ruben Cos for $280 million.