New World Stages

350 W. 50th Street,
New York, NY 10019

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Related Websites

Shubert Organization (Official)

Additional Info

Operated by: Shubert Brothers Theater Company

Previously operated by: Cineplex Odeon, Encore Cinemas, Loews Cineplex

Firms: Beyer Blinder Belle

Functions: Live Theater

Previous Names: Worldwide Cinemas, Encore Worldwide Cinemas, Dodger Stages

Phone Numbers: Box Office: 212.239.6200

Nearby Theaters

New World Stages

This was a six-screen bunker-like complex built under the massive Worldwide Plaza office building/residential development that encompasses the entire block between 8th Avenue and 9th Avenue and W. 49th Street and W. 50th Street. Madison Square Garden (1925-1968) was once situated on this block. There were entrances mid-block on both W. 49th Street and W. 50th Street, but the W. 49th Street entrance was rarely, if ever, used.

The complex was built and run by the Cineplex Odeon organization from its opening on June 16, 1989, when it made a big splash in entering the Manhattan theatre market. However, the theatre never took off due to the fact that the surrounding neighborhood didn’t gentrify quickly and its somewhat off-the-beaten track location.

As some point, around 1995/1996 the Worldwide Cinemas changed its booking policy from first run fare to second run fare at a deeply discounted price that was $2 or $3. The cinemas did quite well under the new format, but with the AMC 25-screen ‘plex and the Loew’s E-Walk 'plex opening on 42nd Street, the Loews Cineplex chain saw the handwriting on the wall and closed the theatre February 22, 2001.

The Dodger organization, a once white-hot Broadway/Off Broadway theatrical producer, took over the complex in 2004 and renovated it for live theatre, turning six cinemas into five live stages. It was renamed New World Stages on March 16, 2006. The Dodger organization underwent some severe financial distress and by 2018 it is operated by the Shubert Organisation. Stage 1 has 499 seats, Stage 2 has 350 seats, Stage 3 has 499 seats, Stage 4 has 350 seats and Stage 5 has 199 seats.

Contributed by Chris Heaney

Recent comments (view all 49 comments)

theatrefan
theatrefan on August 31, 2015 at 5:09 am

When this complex was first opened by Cineplex Odeon in 1989 one of the auditoriums had LucasFilm THX Certification, anybody here remember or know which auditorium number it was?

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on August 31, 2015 at 6:21 am

Theatre fan, it would been the largest screen, whichever that was. It failed certification due to HVAC noise, but later Lucasfilm advertised uncertified theatres in the trade papers. Cineplex Odeon noticed and started to do the same. It was all just one big con job on movie-goers.

HowardBHaas
HowardBHaas on August 31, 2015 at 7:05 am

Auditoriums 1 & 2 were identical with 524 seats each & 40 foot wide screens for scope. With full use of the curtain, I saw the restored “Spartacus” road show in # 1 in 70mm 6 track in 1991. # 4 had 208 seats. # 5 had 182 seats. Aud 6 had 366 seats. I didn’t see a movie in # 3.

theatrefan
theatrefan on August 31, 2015 at 9:53 am

Thanks, Al & Howard! The Cineplex Odeon Chelsea also had I believe #6 & #7 as THX Auditoriums. Now when you check the THX Website there is not one single theatre in all of Manhattan with it at all. The last two I remember seeing were Lincoln Square & Union Square.

ImaxGeek
ImaxGeek on February 23, 2016 at 6:09 pm

Great off-Broadway theater!

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on September 9, 2018 at 6:13 am

I believe these stages are now managed (owned?) by The Shubert Organization.

ridethectrain
ridethectrain on August 31, 2019 at 10:55 pm

The Cineplex Odeon Worldwide Cinema open June 16, 1989 with Ghostbuster II. The theatre could not compete with the Times Square theatres and the Chelsea Cinemas. Sometime around 1994, they went to a second run theatre with reduced prices.

The grand opening ad is in the photos section.

ridethectrain
ridethectrain on April 9, 2020 at 6:14 pm

HowardBHass Theatre 3 when it was a movie theatre was about 366 seats. My source was from Variety and I saw movies in most of the 6 theatres, mostly as a discount theatre. Went there once when it was full price.

I kept theatre capacity information for New York City, but my records prior 2003 got lost. At least Newspapers.com and Proquest I could look back.

I wish I took pictures inside this location, but didn’t start taking movie theatres on a regular since 2003

ridethectrain
ridethectrain on April 9, 2020 at 6:14 pm

Please update, it was Loews Cineplex that closed the theatre.

ridethectrain
ridethectrain on July 3, 2021 at 2:17 pm

Please update, theatre open June 16, 1989

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