Known as the “Crossroads of the World,” Times Square is New York’s most famous intersection and the symbol of the lively surrounding theater district that includes Broadway. It was called Longacre Square until 1904, when the New York Times built a 25-story tower on the site. Its occupancy on New Year’s Eve was marked with fireworks, a celebration that continues today. Currently, a giant crystal ball descends the building at midnight to herald the new year, cheered by the millions packed into the square. The reputation of Times Square was sullied when the adjacent 42nd Street grew seedy in the 1970s. The 1990s saw the peep shows and X-rated movie houses closed, and with a massive government and private effort, the street and neighborhood have again been transformed.

Madame Tussaud’s New York

  • 234 West 42nd Street

  • 1 800 246 8872

  • open 10am–8pm Sun–Thu, 10am–10pm Fri–Sat

  • admission charge


Theater District

It was the move by the Metropolitan Opera House to Broadway in 1883 that first drew lavish theaters and restaurants to this area. In the 1920s, movie palaces added the glamour of neon to Broadway. After World War II, the popularity of movies waned and sleaze replaced glitter. Now a redevelopment program has brought the public and bright lights back to this area.

Go to the TKTS booth in

  • Times Square at Broadway and 47th

  • 212 221 0013


for half-price tickets to all kinds of Broadway shows.

Discount coupons for shows are often available at the Times Square Information Center,

1560 Broadway between 46th and 47th streets

Try to see Broadway at night, when the lights are on.

Top 10 Exhibits
  1. Broadway Lights

    The city’s longest street is known best for the section north of 42nd Street dubbed the “Great White Way” for its dazzle of neon.

  2. Times Square News Ticker

    In 1928, the New York Times erected the world’s first moving electronic sign to post news, a fixture that remains although the Times has moved to 8th Avenue.

    News Ticker, Times Square
  3. Nasdaq Headquarters

    The headquarters of this over-the-counter stock market dominates its corner with a screen that regularly broadcasts financial news.

  4. MTV Headquarters

    The occasional crowd of teenagers gathered beneath the second-floor studios of this music TV network hope to spot an idol on the way in, or a camera crew descending to tape crowds in the street.

  5. Brill Building

    Everyone from Cole Porter to Phil Spector has produced hits in this legendary music industry building, a long-time home to famous music publishers and arrangers.

  6. Condé Nast Building

    The 48-story skyscraper opened in 2000 to house this magazine empire is a sign of the resurgence of Times Square.

  7. New 42nd Street

    The renovation of the new Amsterdam Theater in the 1990s uplifted 42nd Street. Today, the New 42nd Street Studios and several theaters line the block.

  8. Madame Tussaud’s, New York

    Barack Obama, Brangelina and Madonna are among the wax inhabitants of this 42nd Street’s tenant. The museum has exterior glass elevators and a huge hand holding the illuminated sign.

  9. Duffy Square

    The block has been revitalized with the unveiling of the new TKTS area, a dramatic wedge of red overlaid with a set of stairs to nowhere.

  10. Off-Broadway

    Before the rest of 42nd Street was rejuvenated, this block between 9th and 10th Avenues was resurrected by Off-Broadway companies needing inexpensive homes. New plays are premiered at Playwrights Horizons, one of the better known tenants.

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