Analysis Of The Movie ' The Disneyfication Of Broadway '
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Introduction A trip to 42nd street circa 1990 was certainly no destination fit for a family. Walls of graffiti adorn the peeling awnings of storefronts and theatres promise private dances and live nude women. Porn shops dotted the city block with colorful invitations to sex hotlines and signs prohibiting entry to anyone under the age of eighteen (Wollman 445). Decades earlier, during the Prohibition era, speakeasies and brothels lined the city, creating New York’s red light district. Today’s Times Square, however, bares no hint of resemblance to its former image of sleaze and mystery. Neon lights that once illustrated silhouettes of burlesque dancers have since been fashioned into the welcoming faces of cartoon characters. Signs visible…show more content… The commencement of renovations, then, relied heavily on the support of the city and state of New York’s investment, and because of the potential profit to be made from tourism, the state obliged (Wollman 1). This investment greatly contributed to The Walt Disney Company’s decision to lease the New Amsterdam Theatre. Prior to 1994, the theatre spent decades without use and had fallen into decay. Professor of Performance Studies and academic, Elizabeth Wollman detailed the deal between Disney and the city in an article analyzing the interaction between theatre and corporations. She explained:
Disney agreed to spend approximately $6 million to renovate the huge, ninety-five-year-old New Amsterdam on 42nd Street, Disney would enjoy exclusive use of the New Amsterdam, which it now occupies under a long-term, forty-nine-year lease and currently uses to house the musical version of The Lion King. The city and state agreed to lend Disney an additional $28 million in low-interest loans in return for 2 percent of all ticket receipts from shows staged at the theater. (Wollman 447)
With its acquisition of the theatre Disney opened Beauty and the Beast, a stage musical based on the company’s popular musical film, and not long after its opening did investors such as Time Warner and Madame Tussauds “hop on the 42nd street bandwagon” (Nelson 74). The reopening of the New Amsterdam Theatre marked a transformation to the “New Times Square” which, as