The Roseland Ballroom was originally located at Broadway and 51st Street when it opened in 1919; in 1956, Roseland moved to its current location at West 53rd Street, just off Broadway. Roseland has been called the “World’s Most Famous Ballroom” since at least 1957. “World’s Greatest Ballroom” is another Roseland moniker.
Neither “World’s Most Famous Ballroom” nor ‘World’s Greatest Ballroom” has been trademarked by Roseland.
Wikipedia: Roseland Ballroom
The Roseland Ballroom (also referred to as Roseland Dance City) is a multi-purpose hall, in a converted ice skating rink, with a colorful ballroom dancing pedigree, in New York City’s theatre district, on West 52nd Street.
The venue, according to its website, can accommodate 3,200 standing (with an additional 300 upstairs), 2,500 for a dance party, between 1,500 and 1,800 in theatre style, and 800-1,000 for a sit-down dinner.
Broadway at 51st Street location
Roseland was founded initially in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1917 by Louis Brecker with financing by Frank Yuengling of the D. G. Yuengling & Son beer family.
In 1919, they moved the venue to 1658 Broadway at 51st Street in New York. It was a “whites only” dance club called the “home of refined dancing”, famed for the “society orchestra” groups that played there, starting with Sam Lanin and his Ipana Troubadours.
Current 52nd Street location
The original New York Roseland was torn down in 1956 and it moved to its new venue on West 52nd, a building that Brecker earlier had converted from an ice-skating rink to a roller-skating rink. It had been built in 1922 at a cost of $800,000 by the Iceland ice-skating franchise. A thousand skaters showed up on opening night at the 80-by-200-foot rink on November 29, 1922. Iceland went bankrupt in 1932 and the rink opened as the Gay Blades Ice Rink. Brecker took it over in the 1950s and converted it to roller-skating.
Roseland, sometimes called “The World’s Greatest Ballroom.” The story of ballroom dancing and entertainment has happened here for eight decades. It has echoed with some of the greatest concerts, entertainers and events of our time. Dancers such as Arthur Murray, Joan Crawford, Ray Bolger and Fred Astaire have graced our stage and entertainers from Ozzie Nelson to The Rolling Stones and Madonna have played here.
8 October 1957, San Antonio (TX) Light, pg. 8, col. 1 ad:
Read “They’d Rather Dance Than Eat” and get the real story behind the world’s most famous ballroom, Roseland!
(Saturday Evening Post—ed.)
9 September 1959, Beckley (WV) Post-Herald, “Those Roseland Hostesses” by Mel Heimer, pg. 4, col. 6:
NEW YORK—Things one New Yorker thinks about:
Word has drifted in that Lou Brecker, who owns Roseland Dance City—which I suppose has more right than most to the phrase “the most famous ballroom in the world”—has set up a “wall of fame” in his place, displaying the dancing shoes of such hoofers as Adele Astaire, Ray Bolger, Tony DeMarco, Joan Crawford, George Raft, etc.
Cue: the weekly magazine of New York life
ROSELAND...THE WORLD’S MOST FAMOUS BALLROOM-RESTAURANT 52nd St just West of Broadway—247-0200.
Google News Archive
6 December 1998, Daily News (Bowling Green, KY), “Famous ballroom to become boxers’ ring” by Ed Schuyler Jr. (AP), pg. 12B, col. 5:
Some big men will move—some of them in huff-and-puff fashion—in a square much smaller than Roseland’s dance floor in performances punctuated by the clanging of a bell as boxing makes its debut in the “World’s Most Famous Ballroom” in midtown Manhattan.
Satan in the Dance Hall:
Rev. John Roach Straton, Social Dancing, and Morality in 1920 New York City
By Ralph G. Giordano
Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press
As the self-proclaimed “World’s Most Famous Ballroom,” Roseland, an ultra-elegant dance palace at 51st Street and Broadway, stayed open past 1:00 a.m. every day of the week, including Sunday.
TEAM PUERTO RICO BOXING PRESENTS BACK-TO-BACK BOXING SPECTACULAR
By Press Release | May 12, 2011
For eight decades, the fabulous Roseland Ballroom has been known as “The World’s Greatest Ballroom.”
New York City • Music/Dance/Theatre/Film • (0) Comments • Tuesday, October 09, 2012 • Permalink