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NEW YORK CITY-Times Square will gain a live entertainment venue later this month when AEG Live completes Nokia Theatre Times Square. Last year, the developer inked a 15-year deal for 43,000 sf at 1515 Broadway. Then AEG embarked upon a $21-million renovation to transform the space into a 2,100-capacity concert venue.

Located on the corner of Broadway and 44th street in the Viacom/MTV building, the multi-use theater can be transformed to accommodate events such as concerts, live television and web broadcasts, live recordings, award shows and cocktail receptions. It will have a capacity ranging from 1,500 to 2,100 depending upon the event. It was formerly the Loews Astor Plaza movie theatre.

Randy Phillips, president & CEO, AEG Live, says the team created a place of “incredibly clear and balanced acoustics and unparalleled sightlines blended together in a completely consumer friendly and interactive environment.” Architect and designer David Rockwell and the Rockwell Group designed the theatre. The auditorium features two VIP mezzanines with lounge seating, The marquee is an 85-ft long LED, high definition screen, capable of displaying both live and digital video.

The Nokia and AEG partnership already encompasses Nokia Theatre Los Angeles, a recently announced 7,000-seat theater in an AEG -developed sports & entertainment district, Club Nokia a 2,500-concert venue, also in the district and Nokia Theatre at Grand Prairie, TX, a 6,000-seat theatre AEG recently announced a joint venture with AOL and XM to create Network Live, a company dedicated to creating and distributing live entertainment programming through the Internet, satellite and other third party global media platforms such as VOD, wireless and HDTV. Other AEG events include “Celine Dion: A New Day,” and national concert tours for the likes of Prince, the Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, Justin Timberlake and Christina Aguilera, Dixie Chicks, American Idol and Rod Stewart.

Building owner SL Green negotiated with Loews to enable AEG to have access to the site 17 months before the movie theatre’s lease expired. At the time, SL Green COO Gerry Nocera told GlobeSt.com that it was important for the company to find a tenant for the site who would understand that it the development is topped by a 54-story 1.8 million sf office tower. The debut concert lineup features a mix of rock, pop, country and comedy performers including Social Distortion, Nickel Creek, Steve Winwood and Norm MacDonald.

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