Hammerstein Ballroom

Hammerstein Ballroom

Hammerstein Ballroom
Location New York City
Type Music
Opened 1906
Renovated 1997[1]
Owner Unification Church
Capacity 2,200 (Reception/Theater Style)
1,000 (Seated Dinner)
3,500 (Standing/Concerts)
Website www.mcstudios.com/the-hammerstein

The Hammerstein Ballroom is a two-tiered, 12,000-square-foot (1,100 m2) ballroom located within the Manhattan Center Studios at 311 West 34th Street in Manhattan in New York City. It is known for its elegant appearance and excellent acoustic design. The capacity of the ballroom is dependent on the configuration of the room; it seats 2,500 people for theatrical productions and musical performances, and several thousand for events held within a central ring. The two main balconies—which are unusually close to the ground and gently sloped—seat a total of 1,200. There are six shallow balconies which are normally used for celebrity guests. The floor slants down to the stage area to enable those in the back rows to see easily.


The Manhattan Center was constructed in 1906 by Oscar Hammerstein as the Manhattan Opera House, an alternative to the popular yet comparatively expensive Metropolitan Opera.[1] In 1910, the Metropolitan Opera paid Hammerstein $1.2 million to stop operating the Manhattan Opera House as an opera venue for ten years. This led to the elaborately decorated theater being used for a variety of events, including vaudeville performances.[1]

The ownership of the center changed hands multiple times over the next few decades, with the theater being converted into a large ballroom and being used as a Freemason's temple in the 1930s and a trade union headquarters in the 1940s before falling into disuse in the 1970s, before being bought by Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church, the ballroom's current owner. The building was renamed Manhattan Center Studios in 1986, and in 1997 the former theater was renamed the Hammerstein Ballroom and underwent extensive renovation, with the hand painted ceiling being completely restored.[1]

Notable events

The Hammerstein Ballroom has seen performances from a wide variety of musical acts and its popularity has varied over the years due mainly to competition within the neighborhood.[2]

The professional wrestling promotion Extreme Championship Wrestling staged some of its events from the Ballroom. Starting in August 2000, ECW staged two back to back shows, on the first night, a one night tournament was held for the ECW World Tag Team Championship when the titles were vacated in May 2000. ECW would then hold two pay-per-view events, one called Massacre on 34th Street in December 2000, and then Guilty as Charged, which would be the last ECW pay-per-view. The Ballroom then hosted the first two WWE-promoted ECW One Night Stand pay-per-views, in June 2005 and June 2006. On September 23, 2010, Total Nonstop Action Wrestling held their show in the Ballroom for the first time. Ring of Honor has also hosted some pay-per-view shows in the Ballroom.

Jane's Addiction recorded the 1997 Halloween Show of their reunion tour at the Hammerstein Ballroom - the band's members performing some numbers in their encore from the balcony.

Also in 1997, Bryan Adams recorded his album Unplugged at the Hammerstein Ballroom. He was backed by students of the Juilliard School of Music in the orchestra [3].

Patti LaBelle recorded her DVD Live! One Night Only at a sold out concert at the Hammerstein Ballroom with special guests Luther Vandross and Mariah Carey. It was released in 1998 and later won her a Grammy Award for her outstanding performance.

The popular rock/jam band O.A.R. released a live album in 2004, 34th & 8th, which was recorded at the Hammerstein Ballroom.

In 2002, NASCAR held its annual end-of-season awards ceremony in the Ballroom, the only time since 1985 the end-of-season awards ceremony was not held in the Waldorf-Astoria Grand Ballroom.

The rock band Korn recorded their DVD Live at the Hammerstein Ballroom.

In 2004, between the 11th and 18th of December, Pixies played a record sold out shows as a part of their reunion tour.

Several seasons of NBC's America's Got Talent have been taped here.

30 Seconds to Mars played their 300th sold out World Record show on December 7, 2011.

All Time Low recorded their first live DVD titled Straight to DVD at the Hammerstein Ballroom.

On February 28th, 2013, mega group Swedish House Mafia perfomed at the Ballroom as part of their One Last Tour. The show was known as Black Tie Rave, and tickets were auctioned off on December 14th-16th 2013. The show was to give aid in the victims of Hurricane Sandy which caused damage on the Eastern United States

See also


External links

Template:Music venues of New York

Coordinates: 40°45′10″N 73°59′39″W / 40.752908°N 73.994189°W / 40.752908; -73.994189