It was announced today that Clear Channel Entertainment will join with the Hilton Hotels Corporation to rename the Ford Center for the Performing Arts the Hilton Theatre. Located at 213 West 42nd Street between Broadway and Eighth Avenue, the theater will be renamed after the January 2 closing of its current tenant, the revival of 42nd Street. The first show in the renamed theater will be Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, set to begin previews in March in advance of an April opening.

The Ford Center for the Performing Arts, created by combining elements of the Lyric and Apollo theaters, opened in 1997. The first production that it housed was Ragtime, and a 2000 revival of Jesus Christ Superstar also played in the theater.

"Broadway is an international destination and tourism is an important part of its economic health," stated David Anderson, president of theater management at Clear Channel. "We are thrilled with this association in which one of the world's leading symbols of hospitality meets one of its leading centers of art and entertainment." Jeffrey Diskin, senior vice president of brand management and marketing for Hilton added: "Building upon the natural link between travel, leisure and the arts, Hilton is extending its legacy in the art of hospitality by sponsoring one of Broadway's finest theaters."