As a hub for the global entertainment and fashion industry, New York City is world famous for its Theater District, also known as Midtown West, located around Times Square on the western side of Midtown.
The Theater District unofficially stretches from 34th Street, through heavily commercialized areas on the West 35th through 39th Streets, up to as far as 59th Street, west of 6th Avenue. However, the City of New York zoning considers the district to stretch from 40th Street to 57th Street. Though known by many names, the Theater District is most famous for Broadway, also known as the Great White Way. Many famous segments of the entertainment industry call the Theater District home, including the many record labels, theatrical agencies, recording studios, and television stations. Popular destinations include Madame Tussauds of New York, Shubert Alley, ABC Television Studios, the Brill Building and Duffy Square part of Times Square.
The Theater District officially began after the Metropolitan Opera House moved to West 39th Street and Broadway in 1883; however, over the years it has come to be referred to simply as “The Street” by locals. Off-Broadway and Off-Off-Broadway theaters can be found lining the area known as Theater Row on 42nd Street between 9th and 11th Avenues.
Going back to the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, the City of New York has made efforts to revitalize the area of 42nd Street which once was filled with adult theaters and crime, representing one of the darkest corners of the city even locals avoided. The “New” 42nd St has been completely redone with an influx of businesses that have made it one of the most commercialized segments of the Theater District.
Times Square Information Center
Located on 7th Avenue between 46th and 47th Streets, the Times Square Information Center is open daily from 9:00 A.M. to 7:00 P.M. Monday through Friday, and 8:00 A.M. to 8:00 PM on Saturday and Sunday. There are multilingual counselors available for non-English speaking tourists. You can find plentiful brochures, maps, and access to tickets for sightseeing tours and Broadway shows. Free Internet access is also provided via Public Wi-Fi.
Transportation to the Theater District
It is advisable that when traveling to and from the Theater District that you avoid any use of your own motor vehicle. Parking can sometimes be impossible in New York and with often redirected roadways, construction, and mass numbers of pedestrians, you may spend so much time looking for a space that you arrive late to your show! Though, you may find even while walking to your destination, the constant stream of tourists standing still gazing up, along Broadway and 7th Avenue between 42nd and 48th Streets, can make it difficult to find an unimpeded path.
Our best recommendation to tourists and locals is to use the city’s subway system to get off at the Times Square-42nd Street station which can be reached via the 1, 2, 3, 7, N, Q, R or S (Grand Central Shuttle) lines. There is a pedestrian tunnel for free transfer between 42nd Street-8th Avenue station where the A, C, and E lines can be taken.
If you want to arrive North of Times Square, you should take the 1, 2, or 3 lines which run directly below Broadway. The 1 line will take you to 40th St and 59th Street-Columbus Circle station. Whereas, the A, C, and E lines which run below 8th Avenue will take you to 50th Street station via the C and E lines. The A and C lines will take you further north if necessary and stop at the 59th Street-Columbus Circle station.
If you are heading to Carnegie Hall, it is advisable to take the N, Q, or R lines which run under 7th Avenue and stop at 57th Street station.
For non-subway travel, you can take MTA buses, though we would not recommend them during high traffic times as they are subject to long delays during gridlock. Coming into the city on a long-distance bus will often drop you off at the Port Authority Bus Terminal which is located between 8th and 9th Avenues which sit between 40th and 42nd Streets. Subway stops are located nearby, while most destinations can be reached with a short walk.
Taxi and other ride-sharing services are available in the city, though you should be aware they are susceptible to the same issues as the MTA buses – gridlock. You should always avoid being in traffic during rush hour and use the subway where possible. The worst times to take a taxi are in the morning and afternoon rush hours of 8:00-9:00 A.M. and 5:00-6:00 P.M., the mid-afternoon lunch rush 12:00 P.M. to 1:00 P.M., and around 3:00-4:00 P.M. when an early crowd can develop. Always look for licensed taxi services and be careful of terms for fares to ensure you are not overpaying for your travel.
You can find the following famous destinations located in and around the Theater District:
- Times Square
- Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum
- TKTS Booth
- One Times Square
- Madame Tussauds New York City
- Carnegie Hall
- ABC Times Square Studios
- Hudson Theater
- Kramer’s Reality Tour
- OPEN LOOP New York (Hop on Hop Off Bus Tours)
- AMC Empire 25 Theater
- Discovery Times Square Exposition
- M&M’s World New York
- Hershey’s Times Square