Theater has a rich history in New York. Broadway origins date back to 1750 when the first theater was established. However, it wasn’t until after the Revolutionary War that more theaters began to appear in New York. Many of the theaters constructed during the turn of the century are still standing and operating at theaters today.
Traditional theater gave way to silent pictures, Vaudeville, and Ziegfeld Follies. However, the Great Depression brought challenging times for these entertainment establishments. It wasn’t until the years following that Broadway began to reestablish itself. Over the next several decades, Broadway saw a roller coaster of positive and tough times. However, it wasn’t until the 70s that it experienced a decline as devastating as during the Great Depression. During this tie, New York City struggled with crime, drugs, and homelessness. Much of this took place in Times Square and theater row. As a result, many of the theaters ceased play production and were converted into more seedy uses.
It wasn’t until the late 80s, 90s, and early 2000s that Broadway began a new era. During this time, the New York Government took steps to clean up the area and make it more family-friendly. This included shutting down the more questionable and controversial businesses. The crime was addressed. New theater productions were encouraged to come back. The most notable is Disney’s, Lion King. Today, strolling down Broadway is one of the safest places you can be in New York. The street is alive with lights and theatergoers.