A wonderful PBS short documentary; when Broadway was featuring the “Wizard of Oz” or the “Ziegflield Follies”, the Yiddish Theaters along 2nd Avenue were bringing in two million people per year. My own family has it’s roots in the Yiddish Theater with then famous Yiddish actors Izidore and Jennie Casher co-founders with Maurice Schwartz of the Yiddish Art Theatre started in 1918.
The great creators of American iconic music and so many Christmas songs, George and Ira Gershwin, and Irving Berlin lived in this theater district. Many of the Hollywood stars and luminaries got their start in Yiddish Theater, even including Edward G. Robinson.
Indeed drawing a direct line, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s first movie “Hercules In New York” traces back to the early Yiddish Theater.