Times Square Gets New Museum

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The newly renovated Times Square Visitors Center has opened a new mini-museum today, featuring three vintage peep-show booths and other artifacts related to the history of the square.

Fortunately, there is no need to worry about shielding your child's eyes from some XXX-rated content; the peep-show booths have been revamped to show video highlights of the past and present of Times Square.

Other relics in the museum include a "Peep-O-Rama" sign from the last peep show on 42nd Street which closed in 2002 and the Waterford Crystal Ball from 2007, the 100th anniversary of the New Year's Eve ball drop. The ball simulates the New Year's Eve countdown every 20 seconds.

There is also a Wishing Wall, where visitors can scrawl wishes for the upcoming year on pieces of confetti that will be added to the two tons of paper that will fall on Times Square at midnight on New Year's Eve.

The museum is located in the landmark Embassy Theatre on Seventh Avenue in between 46th and 47th streets, just east of the TKTS discount ticket kiosk. First opened in 1925, the museum first made history for being the only theater in the United States staffed solely by women. In 1929, the theater again made waves when it sparked a trend by becoming the first newsreel theater.

In order to transform into the Times Square Visitor's Center, the theater has undergone a $1.1 million makeover.

Also inside the Times Square Visitor's Center is a gift shop, where visitors can shop for Times Square souvenirs and gifts such as books, posters and other memorabilia.

The center also features a NYC & Company kiosk where tourists can get free information on other tourist attractions throughout the city. While at the center, visitors can buy tickets for Broadway shows courtesy of The Broadway League or organize tours of the city via Gray Line New York.

The center will be hosting a free walking tour of Times Square that departs every Friday at noon.

To learn more about the facility and it's new museum, visit the Times Square Visitor's Center website.

Photo by Paul Warchol, courtesy of the Times Square Visitor's Center.

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