Times Square

Broadway and 45th Street, 1915

Broadway and 45th Street, 1915

In this black and white photograph from September 26, 1915, we see the Loews New York theater at 45th and Broadway. The signs boast continuous performance from 11:00 AM to 11:00 PM. Today's showing was Trilby, released on September 20, the drama, set in England and France, was filmed in Fort Lee, NJ. The theater was demolished in 1935, but in 20 years of operation reportedly sold 50 million tickets.

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Broadway and West 38th Street, 1910

Broadway and West 38th Street, 1910

By the time of this photograph in 1910, this part of Broadway had become "Broadway," or the Great White Way. The heart of the theater district had been further downtown in the Nineteenth Century, but by the early Twentieth, it had moved closer to Times Square where it resides today. In this photograph, looking north from West 38th Street, one can see three famous theaters along the west side of the avenue, The Knickerbocker, the Casino, and Maxine Elliott's.

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Herald Square with Streetcars and the Sixth Avenue Elevated Train, 1899

Herald Square with Streetcars and the Sixth Avenue Elevated Train, 1899

Herald Square, pictured here in 1899, was named after the New York Herald, the largest circulation newspaper of the time. The New York Herald Building was designed by McKim, Mead & White, and constructed in 1895. Herald Square could be called the ancestor of Times Square as the hub of New York City life. At the intersection of Sixth Avenue, Broadway, and 34th Street, with access to the Sixth Avenue Elevated Train and numerous streetcars, it was certainly a pre-eminent crossroads, well-trafficked enough to entice Macy's to open their flagship store there in 1907.

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New York Herald Building, West 35th Street and Sixth Avenue, c. 1895

New York Herald Building, West 35th Street and Sixth Avenue, c. 1895

This portrait of the New York Herald Building was taken around 1895 by the H. N. Tiemann Co.  Herald Square was named for the New York Herald, much the same as Times Square was named for rival newspaper, The New York Times.  In this photograph, we can see atop the Herald Building the statue of Minerva, the Roman goddess of wisdom, and her owls. A bell and two bellringers stand just below Minerva, ready to toll the hour.

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Broadway and West 43rd Street, 1939

Broadway and West 43rd Street, 1939

Times Square in 1939 differs from the Times Square of today only in the details. The Internation Casino may now be Toys R Us, but the essential nature of the place is unchanged. Traffic, enormous signs and advertisements, and throngs of people are still the order of the day.

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Censored in Times Square, 1948

Censored in Times Square, 1948
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A Crowd of Men Ogles Enormous Breasts in Times Square, 1948

A Crowd of Men Ogles Enormous Breasts in Times Square, 1948
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Fourteenth Street Theater Shortly Before Demolition, 1937

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Times Square, looking southwest, 1953

Times Square, looking southwest, 1953

Before he tormented Batman, Cesar Romero sold Schenley whiskey. In 1953, the year of this photo, he also starred in a 39-part television serial, Passport to Danger. Here, from above Nedick's, where you could get a 5-cent orange drink, Romero's image overlooks the bustling traffic of a brisk morning in Times Square.

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Times Square At Night, 1932

Times Square At Night, 1932

Times Square becomes magical at night when all the lights go on and the city begins to glow. On this wet night in 1932, the streets themselves glisten. The neon beckons you, almost commands you, buy Pepsodent (you'll wonder where the yellow went), drive a Chevy, see the Barrymores bring Rasputin and Empress to life. Afterwards you can have a cup of Maxwell House, smoke a Chesterfield, and now that you're all revved up again catch the late showing of Wallace Beery in Flesh.

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