Joyce Theater

Favored by small dance companies for its excellent sightlines and intimate feel, this 472-seat auditorium was built on a modest budget. A major improvement was to completely reconfigure the existing seating along a single graduated rake with slim, flanking side balconies. This change results in a much more intimate relationship between the audience and performers, and is one of the reasons the Joyce is considered New York’s finest small dance space.

Originally built as a movie house, the Elgin, in 1941, the theatre was completely gutted and rebuilt solely as a dance space. A new stage, 42 feet wide by 35 feet deep and 21 feet high, and a sprung wood floor with retractable linoleum covers is perfectly suited for both ballet and modern dancers. In a creative and economic move steel trusses found above the movie house’s dropped ceiling became lighting supports accessible from new catwalks.

The Joyce has long been the resident home of the Eliot Feld Ballet and a frequent presenter of a wide variety of nationally known dance ensembles.

  • Client: Elgin Theater Foundation
  • Architect: Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer Associates
  • Completion Year: 1982
  • Location: New York, New York
  • Building Size: 17,900 s.f.
  • Capacity: 472 seats


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