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The Kid of Coney IslandFred Thompson and the Rise of American Amusements$
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Woody Register

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780195167320

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195167320.001.0001

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New York's Gigantic Toy

New York's Gigantic Toy

The Hippodrome, 1902–6

(p.145) Four New York's Gigantic Toy
The Kid of Coney Island

Woody Register

Oxford University Press

The Hippodrome was the largest theater in the world when it opened in 1905 on a block-long stretch of Sixth Avenue between Forty-third and Forty-fourth Streets in Manhattan. It was ideally suited to this tight integration of location, method, message, and product. Thompson designed his mammoth novelty as a great showplace for the millions of New Yorkers who frequented the city's department stores, who filled his coffers at Luna Park, and who, in his mind, had thus far been priced out of the “best” Broadway theaters. Thompson intended the Hippodrome to be more than just a theater for all the people. He designed it as a kind of permanent world's fair exhibition palace, which would showcase a new sense of common purpose and possibility for urban Americans and move fun from the edge to the center of the metropolis.

Keywords:   Fred Thompson, Hippodrome, theaters, Manhattan, palace

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