Friday, September 30, 2011

New York City: The Theater District

The Theater District is one of the best known areas of New York City. Located in Midtown Manhattan it is home to about 40 theaters with live performances. Times Square also can be found here. When you hear the phrase "Broadway show" know that it is a reference to a stage play or musical production in The Theater District. Stretching from 40th to 54th Street, the area is a vibrant and crowded place filled with theaters and huge advertising signs. It is likely that you have seen the bright lights and crowded streets of the Theater District and Times Square on television or in movies. 

The theater and advertising are both big money makers in New York and have a huge impact on the economy. People come from across the United States and around the world to see Broadway shows. The live action of a stage play or musical is vastly different from seeing the same play in movie format. As you sit in the audience, you are in the same room as the performers with all the live action surrounding you. In the photos below you can see the marquees of several theaters. What are some of the plays and live music shows currently in production?


Times Square got its name from the New York Times, the large metropolitan newspaper that made its home there in 1904. To celebrate their new headquarters in the Times Tower--set on a small triangle of land at the intersection of Broadway, 42nd Street, and 7th Avenue--a large New Year's party was held. After a daylong street festival, fireworks were set off and 200,000 revelers cheered in the new year. More than 100 years later, Times Square remains the site of a huge New Year's Eve celebration, and it is estimated that between 750,000 and 1,000,000 celebrants attend. Perhaps you have watched the ball drop at the stroke of midnight. The New York Times moved to a larger location in 1914, but the building has remained one of the most expensive advertising spots in the world. Today, the building itself remains empty and is used only to house the huge signs that are famous the world over. 

How effective do you think advertising in Times Square is? If you had a product to sell, you would want the most people possible to see your advertising. More than 200,000 people work in Times Square and half a million people walk through the district every day. In addition, more than ten million people worldwide see live shots of Times Square advertising on television each day. Add to that the more than one billion individuals globally who watch the ball drop in Times Square on New Year's Eve and you can readily see why the Times Square area is one of the most desirable sites for national and international advertising. The huge signs are certainly captivating. Look at the pictures below to view some of the advertising found in the Times Square area today. What goods and services are being sold? How much do you think it would cost to advertise on a large sign in Times Square?

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