Circle Tours

American Airlines Theatre Tour


As the Selwyn, circa 1918.


As a movie theatre


Copyright © 2011 Fred Basch Architect


Copyright © 2011 Fred Basch Architect


Copyright © 2011 Fred Basch Architect


Copyright © 2011 Fred Basch Architect


Copyright © 2011 Fred Basch Architect


Copyright © 2011 Fred Basch Architect

Professional Circle members had an exclusive tour of the Roundabout Theatre Company’s flagship home on Broadway, the American Airlines Theatre. The tour was led by architects Robert Ascione and Fred Basch, who supervised the restoration project in 2000.

The American Airlines Theatre first opened its doors as the Selwyn Theatre in 1918 and was one of the last great theatres erected on 42nd Street. Built by Edgar and Arch Selwyn, the theatre’s auditorium was designed by architect George Keister in an early Italian Renaissance style, was painted blue and antique gold, and decorated with large murals, wreath moldings, dentils, scrolled modillions and stone balusters.

After years of disrepair and neglect, in 2000 Roundabout returned the theatre to its original Neo-Renaissance style, including updating all of the systems and services while restoring the existing theatre envelope, as part of the 42nd Street Development Project. With new murals and theatre boxes, excellent acoustics and sightlines and a complete overhaul of original ornamental plasterwork, Roundabout’s American Airlines Theatre is truly a gem in the heart of the rejuvenated Times Square district.

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Become a Professional Circle Member
Circle tours go behind-the-scenes of some of New York’s most interesting historic properties. Some tours require hard hats to visit projects during restoration, while others showcase completed restorations of commercial buildings, residences, museums, churches, and synagogues. On occasion, conservators, engineers, and craftspeople open their studios to our Circle members. For more information, contact Jenna Smith at 212.995.5260 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)