Designed by architect Herbert J. Krapp to resemble the neighboring Shubert and Booth theaters designed by Henry B. Herts, the building was constructed by the Shubert brothers in 1917-1918, christened the Plymouth Theatre, and leased to producer Arthur Hopkins. He intended it to be a venue for legitimate plays starring notable actors like John and Lionel Barrymore. The premiere production was A Successful Calamity, a comedy with William Gillette and Estelle Winwood.
After Hopkins died in 1948, control of the theater returned to the Shuberts, who still own the property, which was designated a New York City landmark in 1987. The 1,080-seat house was renamed for Gerald Schoenfeld, chairman of the Shubert Organization, in 2005.