Saturday, June 20, 2015

Times Square, New York City

I am still slogging my way through some old scans for "Anything Goes Saturdays", since I am being indecisive and haven't bought a new scanner to replace my old one, which is geshplonken. So... why not visit New York City's Times Square? It might be touristy as hell, but if you've never been, you need to see it at least once in your life (preferably at night, now that it is relatively safe). 

Speaking of nighttime, check out this neat night photo from 1955, looking mostly toward the old Bond (not James Bond) clothing store; it opened in 1940, and was known as the "cathedral of clothing". I think we can classify the architecture as "subtle and refined". There used to be two giant nude figures on top of the building, but it appears as though they have been replaced with gargantuan Pepsi bottles (one for Sanda, one for Gaira) by 1955. You can see one movie marquee advertising "The Desperate Hours", starring Humphrey Bogart and Frederic March. 

This next photo isn't that great, but I threw it in because it is from 1947. That's nearly 70 years ago!

Here's one from September of 1968, is kind of neat; there's the Bond store to our right again. The movie theater is showing "Rosemary's Baby". I like the giant pop art billboard for the Julie Andrews movie "Star!" (a notorious big-budget flop). The gray sky and haze gives this photo an interesting atmosphere. You can't tell on this jpeg, but the theater just below the Julie Andrews sign is showing "The Thomas Crown Affair".

This one is so dark that I almost skipped it, but what the hell; it doesn't cost any more to include it. To our right, the Victoria Theater is showing Dino DeLaurentis' "The Bible" (directed by John Huston). The Forum is showing "How the West Was Won"... it was the era of BIG movie epics.

I hope you have enjoyed your visit to Times Square!


Nanook said...


I always buy "two trouser" suits - one for each trouser.

Desperate Hours is playing at the Criterion Theatre, as was Rosemary's Baby in the 3rd image. It also appears Star was playing at the Rivoli Theatre - famous for, among other films - the premiere of Oklahoma!, and West Side Story.

The Forum Theatre must have been showing a non-Cinerama version (maybe even a 35mm print) of HTWWW as it had no provision for screening three-projector Cinerama - that would have been at the Warner Cinerama Theatre - and by 1968, was converted for screening the Ultra Panavision "version" of Cinerama.

Times Square - always a crowd pleaser. (Eat your heart out Sin City-!)

Thanks, Major.

Pegleg Pete said...

Ah, Bonds. After the store closed in the late 1970s it became a night club and hosted the Clash's legendary summer 1981 residency. By then, of course, Times Square was at its seedy best - in these photos it's only part way there. I half expect to see Megan Draper hurrying past on the way to see her agent in that daylight photograph.

Chuck said...

Wow! Times Square before the Cricket! Awesome!

You forgot to mention one of the most recognizable stars of "The Desperate Hours." After debuting in this film, this star went on to a long and successful career at Universal.

Chuck said...

Here's some better pictures of that star:

Melissa said...

And the same Canadian Club sign in both shots of Bond's, a decade apart!

K. Martinez said...

Sanda and Gaira definitely appreciate a nice cold Pepsi. It's got more bounce to the ounce.

K. Martinez said...

I've walked up and down and all around the streets of this area and I love it. I can still hear the Times Square Hum.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, you are the master of all theater knowledge!

Pegleg Pete, I remember reading Andy Warhol’s diaries, and he said that the old Bond clothing store was going to be transformed into a huge disco! Megan Draper, she was pretty, but I didn’t care for that character.

Chuck, it took me a minute to get your “cricket” reference. I’ve never read the story! I’ve seen that website about the Universal backlot before, but thanks for the link… those old backlots held so much history.

Melissa, those New Yorkers love to drink!

K. Martinez, maybe the Gargantuas will mellow out if they’re not so hot and thirsty. I like visiting Times Square, but man, the last time I was in NY, it was too touristy for me! Though we did spend some time in the M&M’s store.

Nanook said...

@ Chuck-

The second link is a real treasure trove of history. The (original) Universal Colonial Street never looked lovelier. Thanks.

Chuck said...

Nanook - You are most welcome!