- Roof Garden
- From the 1880s, the roofs of certain theatres were fitted up with a stage and seating to serve as outdoor performance venues, complete with decorative greenery. The prime motive for creation of such theatres was to draw paying audiences during the summer months when the regular theatres had to be closed because of the heat. High above the traffic noises, one could enjoy performances in the cool evening breeze.Stephen Burge Johnson's important study signals nine important roof gardens on or near Broadway: the Casino, Madison Square Garden, Manhattan Opera House, American Theatre, Olympia, Victoria and Republic, New Amsterdam, New Theatre, and Weber and Fields' New Music Hall. Roof gardens, like the one on Florenz Ziegfeld Jr.'s New Amsterdam Theatre, could also be used for rehearsals. Ziegfeld's Midnight Frolic entertainments staged on the New Amsterdam roof in a nightclub style were nearly as popular as the annual editions of the Ziegfeld Follies presented on the theatre's main stage. It was at the Madison Square Roof Garden in 1906, during a performance of Mamzelle Champagne, that Harry K. Thaw shot and killed architect Stanford White out of jealousy over Evelyn Nesbit.
The Historical Dictionary of the American Theater. James Fisher.