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Designed by architect G. Albert Lansburgh for vaudeville promoter Martin Beck, the theatre opened as the Martin Beck Theatre with a production of Madame Pompadour on November 11, 1924. It was the only theater in New York that was owned outright without a mortgage. It was designed to be the most opulent theater of its time, and has dressing rooms for 200 actors. The theatre has a seating capacity of 1,292 for plays and 1,282 for musicals.