The mess at the Hirschfeld Theater continues. Many block residents responded to our last newsletter with comments on the impact of the nightly crowds at the Hirschfeld Theater (including video).See here for selected comments from block residents.And see here for stories from those waiting in line.
The video below was sent to us by a 45th Street resident forced to walk in the street around the crowds waiting for How to Succeed in Business star Nick Jonas to come out to sign autographs. This was at 6:30 PM, more then four hours before the show lets out. For anyone walking on the south side of 45th Street, they risk being hit by speeding vehicles. There are no police. The theater has not set aside a lane for pedestrians. There are no protections. We’ve been told of two occasions where block residents have been clipped by cars or taxis. And the situation is far worse after 10:30 PM when the crowds swell to many hundreds pushing and shoving fans.
For the last year the Broadway show How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying has made life increasingly difficult for those who live on West 45th Street. While we’ve always had shows at the Al Hirschfeld (formerly Martin Beck) Theater, this production is different as the star power creates traffic jams, congestion and unrelenting noise by hoards of teenagers six nights a week. The owners of the theater — Jujamcyn — seem to be doing little, if anything, to control the crowds.
Residents are forced to put up with the noise until after midnight. Early in the morning the line sometimes stretches halfway down the block. Tourist hang off our trees, some of which have recently been replaced and are still delicate. They step into the tree pits damaging the soil.
Even when the police show up — which is not all the time — they seem determined to protect the speeding cars rather than pedestrians who are forced to walk in the street or cross the street to the north side of the road as the sidewalk is completely blocked. Even on the north side of the street, passers-by find it difficult to get by. There haven’t been serious accidents yet, but the luck may end. While the NYPD seems capable of controlling millions on New Years Eve, of thousands at political protests, they need to get serious about this situation.
Please send us your thoughts on this situation to firstname.lastname@example.org. How has this daily ritual affected your life on the block?
Every so often the Jujamcyn Theaters (which owns the Al Hirschfeld Theater) forgets that West 45th Street between 8th and 9th Avenues is a mostly residential block. A number of years ago Jujamcyn tried to have the two trees east of its marquee removed completely. We strongly opposed that move. We believe they were responsible for the improper amputation of several major limbs of one of those trees, and a few years later the destruction of yet another tree.
Recently they placed two speakers outside the Hair marquee playing — over and over again — the Hair score. As much as many enjoy this 40+ year-old musical, having it forced upon us is discourteous, at the least.
Update: After several complaints to the Jujamcyn and the city, the speakers have come down.