A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from November 30, 2018
White Light Belt (Broadway)

Broadway is known for its bright lights, and has been called the “Bulb Belt,” “Great Bright Way,” “Great White Way,” “Incandescent District,” “Lane of Lights and Laughter,” “Mazda Lane,” “Street of the Midnight Sun” and “Tungsten Territory.”

“White Light Belt” has been cited in print since at least 1906. It was infrequently used and was rarely used at all after 1950.


Wikipedia: Broadway (Manhattan)
Broadway (/ˈbrɔːdweɪ/) is a road in the U.S. state of New York. Broadway runs from State Street at Bowling Green for 13 mi (21 km) through the borough of Manhattan and 2 mi (3.2 km) through the Bronx, exiting north from New York City to run an additional 18 mi (29 km) through the Westchester County municipalities of Yonkers, Hastings-On-Hudson, Dobbs Ferry, Irvington, and Tarrytown, and terminating north of Sleepy Hollow.
(...)
Broadway in Manhattan is known widely as the heart of the American commercial theatrical industry, and is used as a metonym for it, as well as in the names of alternative theatrical ventures such as Off-Broadway and Off-off-Broadway.

24 July 1906, Shreveport (LA) Times, “A Dead Game Sport,” pg. 6, col. 2:
This banking system was accomplished in a hotel in the White Light Belt, where he had stopped to break the long, thirsty journey back from the track.
(...)
-- New York Press.

10 August 1906, New York (NY) Times, “Bars Closed at 1 Sharp,” pg. 1, col. 6:
The same drought was noticeable in the theatre district last night that has prevailed there for the last week. All the restaurants in the white light belt shut their bars down tight on the stroke of 1, and only the very oldest patrons were able to get into them afterward.

29 November 1911, New-York (NY) Daily Tribune, “Broadway Once Dark,"pt. 4, pg. 16, col. 8:
The lights outside theatres and hotels in the “White Light Belt” alone keep 1,600 men busy day and night.

3 January 1915, New York (NY) Tribune, “New Productions,” pt. 3, pg. 4, col. 7:
“Sinners” depicts phases of life in the white light belt of New York, where certain men of great wealth and little occupation find amusement in night life carousals.

Google Books
The Ear in the Wall
By Arthur Benjamin Reeve
New York, NY: Hearst’s International Library Co.
1916
Pg. 258:
Suppose we walk a little way downtown with Carton?” he suggested. I was not averse, and by the time we arrived in the white light belt of Broadway the theatres were letting out.

9 March 1939, The Post-Star (Glens Falls, NY), “Walter Winchell On Broadway,” pg. 4, col. 1:
Amos ‘n’ Andy holidaying between broadcasts in the White Light belt.

4 May 1949, Standard-Sentinel (Hazleton, PA), “Broadway” by Mark Barron, pg. 13, col. 4:
NEW YORK—The tempestuous winds of censorship are beginning to sweep across Broadway again, and especially in the white light belt of West Fifty-second street, where hurdy-gurdy night club bars are filled with refugees from the burlesque wheels.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityStreets • Friday, November 30, 2018 • Permalink