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Banvard's Museum was built by John Banvard, who opened it in 1867 as a dime museum-theatre. Banvard sold the building the following year, and it was renamed for the new owner, Wood, who mounted musical Victorian burlesque and other productions of light musical comedy. Banvard regained control of the theatre in 1876 and renamed it the Broadway Theatre.
John Banvard (November 15, 1815 – May 16, 1891) was a panorama and portrait painter known for his panoramic views of the Mississippi River Valley. He was a pioneer in moving panoramic paintings.