The Disneyfication of Times Square

Crowds, Times Square - New York, New York

Crowds, Times Square – New York, New York

I’ve heard the term the Disneyfication of Times Square and Googling it reveals many hits. Times Square has become corporatized with typical chain stores and tourist attractions. Yes, there is a Disney Store and Disney Broadway Shows, too. Also, like the Disney theme parks, it can get extremely crowded, as you can see here. I shot this at about 8 pm on Sunday.

Sprinkle in some Disney, Las Vegas, and giant skyscrapers, and you have Times Square in 2022 — though I don’t use Disneyfication as a pejorative. It’s infinitely better than it was when I grew up in New York City.

In the late 1970s and early 80s, Times Square was wall-to-wall porn theaters. I stayed clear of it, as did most people. The few times I went, I watched Hollywood movies in the rare remaining legitimate theaters and went to Playland arcade to play video games. That’s about it.

The city spent much effort to redevelop the area, which helped, I’m sure. I also read a theory that the Sony Betamax and VHS video tape machines killed off the Times Square porn. If one can watch these movies from the comfort and privacy of their home, why go to these seedy theaters? I’m sure there’s a bit of truth in many of the explanations.

Regardless of the reason, Time Square is transformed, and for the better.

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