Huge theater company Shubert Organization buys off-Broadway theater complex New World Stages

The Shubert Organization, Broadway's largest landlord, has extended its off-Broadway reach by buying the five-theater complex New World Stages.

The move gives the Schubert Organization more flexibility as it shepherds shows to off-Broadway or readies them up for a Broadway home. It gives the Shuberts about 1,900 new seats to fill, with cheaper labor costs than Broadway. No terms were disclosed.

The organization owns or operates 17 of Broadway's 40 theaters and the off-Broadway Little Shubert, as well as theaters in Boston, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. It also owns the ticket-seller Telecharge.

New World Stages, located at West 50th Street currently has four tenants including "Avenue Q." It was bought from the Stage Entertainment, a leading European producer that recently gambled and lost putting on "Rocky" on Broadway.