The New 42nd Street to Mark 25th Anniversary Tomorrow

By: Sep. 17, 2015
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The New 42nd Street celebrates the 25th anniversary of its founding tomorrow, September 18, 2015.

As the nonprofit organization responsible for reclaiming this famous (and infamous) block between Times Square and 8th Avenues for New Yorkers and visitors to the city, The New 42nd Street was charged with long-term oversight for the renovation and ongoing operation of seven of 42nd Street's historic theaters. The company played a key role in making 42nd Street and Times Square the international tourist destination it is today.

Anniversary festivities include cocktails at 6:15pm and dinner on the stage of The New Victory Theater (209 W 42nd Street) at 7pm tonight, September 17, 2015, by invitation only.

25 years ago tomorrow, on September 18, 1990, on the stage of the decrepit Victory Theater, Governor Mario M. Cuomo and Mayor David N. Dinkins announced the formation of the 42nd Street Entertainment Corporation aka The New 42nd Street, a nonprofit partner established to find new uses for seven of the historic theaters lining a street that had come to represent the city's abject decay. Announced were the appointment of Marian Sulzberger Heiskell as the corporation's Chairman and Cora Cahan as President.

Heiskell, a civic leader, leading philanthropist and part owner and board member of The New York Times, accepted the high-profile position on one condition: Cora Cahan must serve as President. Cahan, credited for founding several new nonprofit performing arts organizations accepted on one condition as well: Marian Sulzberger Heiskell must serve as Chairman.

Under the leadership of Heiskell -- Chairman for 22 years -- and Cahan, who remains at the helm, and a diverse and distinguished 24-member founding board from the commercial and nonprofit arts and business communities, The New 42nd Street launched the transformation of the block by undertaking the renovation of The Victory Theater and reinventing it as a theater for kids and families. The New Victory Theater opened its doors on December 11, 1995, and New York City's oldest operating theater became a new destination for families and a harbinger of the change to come.

Today, West 42nd Street between 7th and 8th avenues boasts five legitimate theaters, two multiplex cinemas and several major tourist destinations in addition to a vibrant mix of food and retail venues, playing host to nearly 90,000 visitors each day. Under the current leadership of Board Chairman Fiona Howe Rudin and President Cora Cahan, The New 42nd Street continues to support the city in its efforts to maintain West 42nd Street at the Crossroads of the World as a safe and exciting destination for both locals and visitors alike.

Committed to the transformational power of the arts, The New 42nd Street continues to build on the foundation of seven historic theaters to make extraordinary performing arts and cultural engagement part of everyone's life. It fulfills this purpose by ensuring the ongoing vibrancy of 42nd Street's historic theaters; maintaining and fully using the New 42nd Street Studios and The Duke on 42nd Street to support performing artists in the creation of their work; and through The New Victory Theater, New York's premier theater for kids and families.

Joining Marian Sulzberger Heiskell and Cora Cahan at the celebration are Founding Board Members Charles A. Platt of Platt Byard Dovell White Architects; Tina Ramirez, Founder and Founding Artistic Director of Ballet Hispanico; Rebecca Robertson, President and Executive Producer of Park Avenue Armory; Brenda Sanchez; Charles Shorter, CUNY Board of Trustees member and Senior Advisor at Davis Brody Bond; Herbert Sturz, former Deputy Mayor and Chairman of the City Planning Commission and founder of the Vera Institute of Justice; Mary Ann Tighe, CEO of the New York Tri-State Region of CBRE; Theodore R. Wagner, Partner at Carter Ledyard & Milburn; Carl Weisbrod, Director of the New York City Department of City Planning and Chairman of the New York City Planning Commission; and the current New 42nd Street Board.

In addition to Rudin and Cahan, the current New 42nd Street Board includes Shahara Ahmad-Llewellyn and Sarah Long Solomon as Vice Chairs, Charles A. Platt as Secretary and Andrew Sommers as Treasurer. Marian Heiskell remains a voting member of the Board and Honorary Chairman. Current board members also include Herman A. Berliner, Lynne Biggar, J. Walter Corcoran, Lili Fable, Clare R. Gregorian, Jennifer A. Gundlach, Sharon Coplan Hurowitz, Bill Irwin, Sarah Lane, Ming Cho Lee, Greg Lippmann, Terrence McNally, Laura O'Donohue, Katherine Peck, Julio Peterson, Rebecca Robertson, Isabel Rose, Charles Shorter, Marc A. Spilker, Christopher L. Staal, Edward F. Torres and Theodore R. Wagner. Ex-Officio members include Tom Finkelpearl, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs; Aby Rosen, Chair of the NY State Council on the Arts; and Maria Torres-Springer, President of the NYC Economic Development Corporation.


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