Axis Theatre

One Sheridan Square
New York, NY 10014


The theatre at 1 Sheridan Square has a long history as a vibrant, varied West Village performance space. Built in 1834 by Samuel Whitmore, it wasn't until the 1930's that the theatre in the basement became a destination of choice in Greenwich Village.

Called "Goofy Clubs" it was first a theme restaurant where diners ate in a dungeon. Then in 1938 Barney Josephson borrowed $6000 to open a supper club called Cafe Society. He invited neighbourhood artists to paint murals on the walls in exchange for a $250 bar tab and he employed John Hammond, a jazz producer, to advise him in booking talent. Hammond worked closely with Josephson on his plans for the club and booked his opening night act, a relatively unknown singer called Billie Holiday. Recalling this night later in life, Holiday said, " I opened Cafe Society as an unknown, I left two years later a star".

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