Ed Sullivan Theater

Ed Sullivan Theater

The Ed Sullivan Theater was home to the Late Show With David Letterman 1993-2015 and is now home to The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.

The theatre is located at 1697-1699 Broadway between West 53rd Street and West 54th Street in New York City, New York.

The building is currently governed by CBS.

The theatre is on the National Register Of Historic Places. The interior has been designated a landmark by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission.

The Ed Sullivan Theater can hold up to 1200 seats – the setup used for the Late Show With David Letterman and The Late Show With Stephen Colbert allows for 400 seats.

When the Late Show With David Letterman ended in 2015 the theatre was renovated to reveal some of the original 1927 features including the uncovering of the ceiling dome and the re-installation of the original stained-glass windows which were in storage throughout Letterman’s era of the programme. The dome comes with a digital projection system which can be used to display many images above the audience.

The renovation of the magnificent wooden chandelier was another key feature to the revamp – the chandelier comes complete with individual stained-glass chambers that houses light bulbs.

Before its use as the Late Show With David Letterman studio, the building is most known for being the home of The Ed Sullivan Show. The Ed Sullivan Show was famed for being the programme to break The Beatles into mainstream US stardom.


Ed Sullivan Theater timeline:

1925 – Arthur Hammerstein builds Hammerstein’s Theater

1931 – Renamed Manhattan Theater

1934 – Renamed Billy Rose’s Music Hall

1936 – Renamed the WPA Theater

1936 – CBS takes control and uses it for radio broadcasts

1950 – CBS convert it into a TV studio and rename it Studio 50

1953 – The Ed Sullivan Show starts broadcasting

1960s – Other shows such as The Honeymooners and The Merv Griffin Show are filmed here

1965 – Conversion from black & white broadcasts to colour

1967 – Renamed The Ed Sullivan Theater in honour of Ed Sullivan

1970s – $10,000 Pyramid and a few other game shows are filmed here

1980s – US sitcom Kate And Allie is filmed here

1981 – Reaves Entertainment takes over the Ed Sullivan Theater after CBS’s lease expires

1993 – CBS buys it back for $4 million to become home of the Late Show

2009 – McCartney plays on the marquee 45 years after The Beatles’ Ed Sullivan Show gig

2015 – Late Show With David Letterman airs its final show 20th May

2015 – The Late Show With Stephen Colbert premieres 8th September

Read more about the Ed Sullivan Theater.


Take a walk around The Late Show With Stephen Colbert set:

See how it looked during the Late Show With David Letterman era:

Location map:


Late Show With David Letterman marquee:


Ed Sullivan Theater marquee as it looked in 1958: