Singapore hotel and property tycoon Kwek Leng Beng is helping revive New York's famous Hudson Theatre.
Millennium & Copthorne Hotels (M&C) announced yesterday that it will join forces with Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG) to reopen the theatre in West 44th Street under a new lease.
The theatre, which was acquired by M&C in 1995, has also staged meetings, weddings and events and had been used as a movie venue and a rock club.
"We are extremely pleased about this alliance with ATG, a theatre group with a terrific reputation for producing top-class live productions around the world and are delighted to be returning the Hudson Theatre not only to its former splendour but to its original intended use," said Mr Kwek, the chairman of M&C.
"The agreement will allow M&C to market our hotels to ATG's audiences with special offers on dining, entertainment and accommodation," added Mr Kwek, who is also the executive chairman of Hong Leong Group.
The Hudson Theatre, which was built in 1903 and is one of the oldest and most elegant in Manhattan, is connected to M&C's Millennium Broadway Hotel.
A multimillion-dollar renovation of the preserved building will begin in the new year with the theatre scheduled to reopen its doors late next year for the next Broadway season.
Stars such as Douglas Fairbanks, William Holden, Helen Hayes and Edward G. Robinson had graced the Hudson's stage.
In November 1945, the Pulitzer Prize-winning play, State Of The Union, opened at the Hudson and ran for 765 performances, and on Sept 27, 1956, the first edition of Steve Allen's The Tonight Show was broadcast nationwide from the theatre.
M&C owns five hotels in Manhattan - Millennium Broadway Hotel, The Premier Hotel, ONE UN, Millenium Hilton and Novotel Times Square.