New York's Gigantic Toy

Woody Register

in The Kid of Coney Island

Published in print August 2003 | ISBN: 9780195167320
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199849710 | DOI:
New York's Gigantic Toy

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The Hippodrome was the largest theater in the world when it opened in 1905 on a block-long stretch of Sixth Avenue between Forty-third and Forty-fourth Streets in Manhattan. It was ideally suited to this tight integration of location, method, message, and product. Thompson designed his mammoth novelty as a great showplace for the millions of New Yorkers who frequented the city's department stores, who filled his coffers at Luna Park, and who, in his mind, had thus far been priced out of the “best” Broadway theaters. Thompson intended the Hippodrome to be more than just a theater for all the people. He designed it as a kind of permanent world's fair exhibition palace, which would showcase a new sense of common purpose and possibility for urban Americans and move fun from the edge to the center of the metropolis.

Keywords: Fred Thompson; Hippodrome; theaters; Manhattan; palace

Chapter.  17952 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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