Huge theatre company Shubert Organization buys off-Broadway theatre complex New World Stages

NEW YORK, N.Y. – The Shubert Organization, Broadway’s largest landlord, has extended its off-Broadway reach by buying the lease for the five-theatre complex New World Stages.

The move announced Tuesday gives the Shubert Organization more flexibility as it shepherds shows to off-Broadway or readies them up for a Broadway home. It gives the Shuberts about 1,900 new seats to fill, with cheaper labour costs than Broadway. No terms were disclosed.

The organization owns and operates 17 of Broadway’s 40 theatres and the off-Broadway Little Shubert, as well as theatres in Boston, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. It also owns the ticket-seller Telecharge.

New World Stages, located at West 50th Street and which currently has four tenants including “iLuminate” and “The Bubble Show,” was bought from the Stage Entertainment, a leading European producer that recently gambled and lost putting on “Rocky” on Broadway.

New World Stages has lately emerged as a place where some fading Broadway shows have found a new life, including “Million Dollar Quartet,” ”Avenue Q” and “Peter and the Starcatcher.” The five theatres range in size from 199 to 499 seats and the Shubert Organization said all current shows will continue.