Purdy's New National
Chatham Street (Roosevelt & James), New York, NY
Born of the demand for escapist entertainment during the depression and Panic of 1837, the Chatham Theatre offered low-priced entertainments to neighborhood audiences. Manager A. H. Purdy guided it through its most successful years, from 1850 to 1857, renaming it Purdy's New National Theatre. Later, the Panic of 1857 changed Purdy's fortunes, and he handed off the theatre to a series of managers, none of whom could slow the theatre's descent into obscurity.