The eminent British actor Henry Miller built this splendid theatre in 1918 and starred in its first play, The Fountain of Youth. Architectural critics acclaimed the new theatre as an ideal playhouse in luxurious good taste. Mr. Miller produced and acted in many plays there until he died in 1926. His son Gilbert took control of the house and became one of Broadway's most prestigious producers, presenting noteworthy plays in London, then bringing them to his theatre in New York.
Among the many distinguished events here were the following productions: Jane Cowl in Romeo and Juliet, still regarded as the greatest American Juliet of all (1923); the U.S. debut of Noel Coward in his sensational play The Vortex (1925); the acclaimed World War I play, Journey's End (1929) and Gladys George in the long-running comedy Personal Appearance (1934).
But the star who most epitomized this theatre's glamour was the beautiful, scintillating comedianne Ina Claire who graced it's stage in four high comedies: The Awful Truth (1922), Our Betters (1928), Once is Enough (1928), and The Talley Method (1941). In 1938, Thornton Wilder's Pultizer Prize play Our Town began its illustrious career here. Other long runs: Helen Hays in Harriet (1943), Dear Ruth (1944), The Cocktail Party (1950), and The Moon is Blue (1951).
In 1966. The theatre was sold by Mr. Miller's widow (the socialite Kitty Bache) and sadly became first a porn house, then a disco, Xenon. Though it bore the name Club Expo during 1997, and was renamed the Kit Kat Club in February 1998, the name Henry Miller's Theatre remains engraved on the facade and easily visible from the street. It happily returned to legitimacy in February 1998 with the Roundabout Theatre production of Cabaret.