Entertainment, bright lights, and life-sized video are nothing new to Times Square. According to Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898, “By the early 1890s, this once sparsely settled stretch of Broadway was ablaze with electric light and thronged by crowds of middle- and upper-class theatre, restaurant and café patrons.”
In 1904, a flashy Trimble Whiskey billboard was installed at the base of Times Tower (now One Times Square). That same year, folks gathered in Times Square to ring in the new year for the first time. In 1907, the first New Year’s Eve Ball, made of wood and iron with 100 25-watt light bulbs, was lowered.
In the early 1900s, entertainer icons like Charlie Chaplin and Fred Astaire were associated with Times Square. Advertisements dominated the area by 1950, and by the end of the century, Times Square was an entertainment hub, fully embracing the “Crossroads of the World” moniker.
As LED technology settled in around the turn of the century, the last two decades have seen the dominance of large-format video advertising, commonly referred to as LED spectaculars. Given the versatility and scalability of this medium, huge video screens quickly dominated the landscape and are arguably the most iconic feature for visitors of Times Square.
Throughout the years, there have been many celebrity performances in the bowtie, but most of them have coincided with a mega-event like New Year’s Eve. Because of the heavy, consistent pedestrian traffic and several plazas that consume most available open space, there’s really no place for a fixed outdoor venue.
But a new development at 1568 Broadway, known as TSX Broadway, is setting the stage for a new kind of outdoor venue and looking to change the game in Times Square.
Located at 47th and 7th overlooking the iconic Red Steps, TSX Broadway is the newest major development in Times Square. Scheduled for completion in 2022, it will be the first and only full-building promotional platform, with LED signage and lighting active across the entire skyscraper, making it the largest signage opportunity in Times Square. Additionally, the project will include the only dynamic “LED crown” in New York which will extended 15 feet beyond the roof and wrap around all four sides of the building. TSX Broadway will also feature what is being billed as an LED mega-spectacular video display, a 9-story, 18,000-square-foot main screen that will curve around the tower.
But perhaps most the most spectacular feature about the development is a stage built into the main screen and suspended 30 feet above 47th Street. The 4,000-square-foot integrated stage will be the only permanent outdoor performance venue in Times Square and will present visitors with a new kind of entertainment, as performers will be elevated, demanding more attention. Additionally, promoters will have opportunities to interact with viewers and provide a more tangible experience to supplement their video advertising.
SNA Displays, the only top-tier LED display manufacturer headquartered in Times Square, will be providing all LED signage for the development. The entire display system will include more than 22,000 square feet of LED video and 28 million total pixels, which will make TSX Broadway the highest-resolution display system in Times Square.
TSX Broadway is a mixed-use project developed by L&L Holding Company and partners Maefield Development, Fortress Investment Group and the Nederlander Organization.