Where Vaudeville Meets Shakira: Here Are Our Favorite Historical Theatres Across the U.S.

Throughout history, there are a few iconic architects that have their name forever embedded in the buildings they erected. Frank Lloyd Wright became known as the king of home design with his famous Fallingwater home in Pennsylvania and Thomas W. Lamb was the king of theatre, having his signature on hundreds of cinemas throughout the Golden Age. Here are some of our favorite cinemas to visit that have held up their classic charm over the years.

The Orpheum, Boston

The Orpheum theater is one of those that has stood the test of time. Once a venue for vaudeville and symphonies, it’s now a hotspot for rock and indie concerts, where Interpol and U2 take the stage. It’s one of the oldest theaters in the United States, and its history is reflected in its vintage facade of marble white arches, and impressively detailed interior.

For the music lovers, upcoming shows include Chrvches and Hanson. You can check out the Orpheum’s entire concert calendar here.

Madison Square Garden, New York

While you may think of Madison Square Garden as a center-stage for high profile events and concerts, you may be surprised to find out that there were actually four different Madison Square Gardens built. The one that Lamb built was actually the third, also known as MSG III. Here, the big-ticket event was in boxing, however other big sports also filled up its seats. The original Celtics played here and the New York Knicks debuted here. Apart from boxing and basketball, hockey, wrestling, cycling, and even the circus were popular showrunners.

While MSG III closed in 1968, you can explore its old location in the modern day New York Theater District and check out the latest Broadway shows on tap.

State Theatre, New Jersey

To get to the true roots of vaudeville and silent film, you have to visit the State Theatre in New Jersey. Walter Reade famously dubbed this theater “the finest theatre in the state,” and when you enter its doors, it’s clear why. Walking down the theatre aisles, you’ll pass emblematic velvet seats, Italian-looking frescoes, ornate columns and a glimmering chandelier that lights up the whole room. Today, Charlie Chaplin is replaced with Broadway shows like Chicago and The King and I and the violin concertos of Itzhak Perlman.

If you’re visiting New Brunswick, make a reservation at The Heldrich, a luxe hotel in the heart of the city’s cultural center, located directly in front of three performing arts theaters, shopping, dining, and nightlife.

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