Image Donated by Corbis-Bettmann
The Shubert family of New York City is credited with establishing Broadway as the hub of the theater industry in the United States. With borrowed money, three brothers-Lee (1871-1853), Sam (1878-1905), and Jacob (1879-1963)-became the successful operators of several theaters in upstate New York. After Sam died in a train accident, Lee and Jacob went on to build the largest theater-management company in America. By 1924 they controlled 60% of the legitimate theatre market and took in nearly $1 million a week in ticket sales. The Shubert theater empire came to include New York City's renowned Winter Garden Theatre the Sam S. Shubert Theater, and the Imperial Theaters. The Shuberts' monopoly resulted in the creation of theatrical unions like Actors' Equity.