Previously Playhouse Yard until 1937. It was named after the Fortune Playhouse, a round wooden theatre modelled on William Shakespeare’s Globe in Southwark. It was built between Whitecross Street and Golden Lane in 1600 for Edward Alleyn and Philip Henslow costing around £550. The theatre came complete with a roof equipped with gutters to protect the audience. It was so-called because a statue of the Goddess of Fortune was stood over the entrance. She did not bring the theatre much luck however. In 1621 the theatre burned down and was replaced by a brick version and plays by Thomas Dekker and Christopher Marlowe took place there. In 1642 the Puritans closed it down. By 1649 it was partially pulled down by Civil War soldiers and eventually what remained was demolished to make way for the present road laid out in 1661.
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