The first electric marquee appeared on Broadway in 1891 at a theater on Madison Square at Broadway and 23rd Street. The famous Flatiron Building now occupies the site. By midway through the following decade, the street blazed with electric signs as each theater announced its shows and stars in white lights. With the advent of a subway system, several lines converging at 42nd Street and Broadway, Times Square became the obvious choice for a new theater district. There were so many theaters with bright white lights, it became known as the “Great White Way”!
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From Black and White-Sometimes the Real World