On May 1 the mammoth chandelier from the Broadway production of The Phantom of the Opera made its final journey. Watch the famed prop, which weighs one ton and features 30,000 beads, depart the Majestic Theatre in the video above.
One of the most iconic pieces of Broadway scenery, the piece was custom-built for the New York production, which opened in 1988. Nicknamed Ruthie II—after director Hal Prince’s longtime associate Ruth Mitchell—the replica of the Paris Opera House chandelier traveled to and from the stage 5,382,685 feet (1,019 miles) in its 35 years at the majestic.
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera, directed by Prince, ended its blockbuster Broadway run April 16 after an unprecedented 13,981 performances.
The full load-out from the Majestic is expected to take at least five weeks, to be followed by a major renovation of the theatre by The Shubert Organization.
The Broadway staging of the London-originated show won seven 1988 Tony Awards, including Best Musical. Previews on Broadway began January 9, 1988, with an official opening January 26. The original Broadway cast featured Crawford, Brightman, Judy Kaye, and the late Steve Barton.
The Phantom of the Opera became the longest-running show in Broadway history January 9, 2006, when it surpassed the nearly 18-year run of Cats. The production’s nearly 14,000 performances were seen by 20 million people and grossed $1.3 billion.