43rd St – LIGHTS AND MAGIC (Theatre District, 6th – 9th Aves)

30 – No. 124: Henry Miller’s Theater (1918), now renamed the Stephen Sondheim theater. It was a porno cinema in the ‘80s.

Life is theater, and the theatre is life, no more so than here in this short expanse of street cutting through Broadway – the centre of the world where theatre is concerned.

Nothing here is what it seems. Within the theatres, sailors carouse and cavort on board a cruise-ship plucked from the 1920s; a Marvel Superhero flails and flops his way into Broadway history as one of the most expensive fiascos ever staged. Outside the theatres, buxom ingénues are dressed up in military uniform to coerce young Americans into giving their lives away for false Wars; armed policeman on horses – vanguards of America’s Police State – take a latte break as shrieking tourists snap away avidly at them.

Nothing here is what it seems. Red is not red, but RED. Blue is not blue but BLUE. And real is not real but ukiyo-e… a floating world of light and magic. Not too long ago, these very same streets were haunted by prostitutes, porno cinemas and the men that frequent them. Today, this is family-friendly tourist-ville.

There’s no business like show business.

31 – To the left is One Times Square, which housed The New York Times from 1904 – 1913. Times Square is named after The New York Times, and it was the Times that started the tradition of New Year’s Eve on the Square in 1908. Just beyond is 3 Times Square – the Reuters Building.

32 – The US Armed Forces Recruitment Station, recruiting here since 1946.

33 – Police officers on horseback, and tourists checking a shot they just took.

34 – Foxwoods Theatre, home to the highly critically-panned and controversy-plagued Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark musical.

35 – Originally the Selwyn Theatre (1918), now renamed the American Airlines Theatre and housing the Roundabout Theatre Company.

36 – No. 307: Second Stage Theatre, presenting overlooked plays. It is housed in a 1927 building.

37 – No. 310 – Martin Luther King Jr. Labor Center, with a mural depicting progress within the African-American community.

38 – Broadway Posters on the wall of a parking garage.

39 – No. 407: Westside Theatre

C – Lights and Magic

Download: C) LIGHTS AND MAGIC – Theatre District, 6th to 9th Aves (2.7 MB)

About Kennie Ting

I am a wandering cityophile and pattern-finder who is pathologically incapable of staying in one place for any long period of time. When I do, I see the place from different perspectives, obsessive-compulsively.
This entry was posted in Art & Architecture, Landmarks & History, New York, Photography, Sociology & Urban Studies and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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