The Times Square Theatre opened to the public on September 30, 1920, with the play, The Mirage. The play, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, was performed 199 times in the 1926-1927 season. George Gershwin's, Strike Up the Band, played in 1930. In 1931, the hit comedy, Private Lives, starred Gertrude Lawrence, Laurence Oliver, and Noel Coward, the playwright himself. After closing in 1933, the theatre was reopened in 1934 as a movie house and in 1940, it became a retail store, and later part of the 50s and 60s grindhouse circuit..