New York Broadway in the 1800's
Built on Chatham St in Downtown Manhattan, the Park Theater NYC ushered in a new era of theater in New York. Several more NYC theaters opened up between 1800- 1850. After the Civil War, the center of New York theater moved from Downtown to Midtown Manhattan, because of their cheaper rates on NY real estate.
In the late-1800's and early 1900's, the dramatic rise in train transportation - as well as the NYC subway - lead to a drop in poverty and a higher demand for evening New York entertainment. Soon, the NYC theater district was bustling, leading to more expensive and ambitious Broadway productions.
"The Great White Way"
Originally coined by the New York Evening Telegram, "The Great White Way" refers to the Theater District area of Broadway, which encompasses 42nd St to 53rd St in Midtown. Beginning in the early-1900's, Broadway theaters used bright electric signs made up of white lights to advertise shows. Soon, the bright lights of Broadway NYC would become known as "The Great White Way," giving birth to a new NYC landmark. It was also around this time that Broadway theaters finally made their way to Times Square NY.
After a great New York Broadway run in the 1920's saw the premiere of a number of classic Broadway shows - including The Jazz Singer and No, No, Nanette - Broadway was faced with the uncertainty of The Great Depression. The number of Broadway shows dwindled in the 1930's, as famous Broadway producers found themselves out of money and out on the street like so many other Americans. However, much like New York City has again and again, Broadway would soon persevere.