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 May 25, 2021
Lane of Lights and Laughter (Broadway)

Broadway’s bright lights gave it the nickname “Lane of Light(s) and Laughter.”
“That Lane of Light—Broadway” was printed in Variety> (New York, NY) on June 10, 1911. “Lane of light and laughter” was printed in the Scranton (PA) Times on July 17, 1914. “Lane of light, laughter and liquor” was printed in the Brooklyn (NY) Daily Eagle on May 16, 1922. “SEE THE ‘SHOTS’ OF GAY, GLITTERING BROADWAY, NEW YORK’S LANE OF LIGHTS AND LAUGHTER” was printed in the Asbury Park (NJ) Evening Press on September 8, 1925.
Other nicknames for Broadway and its bright lights include “Bulb Belt,” “Great Bright Way,” “Great White Way,” “Incandescent District,” “Mazda Lane,” “Street of the Midnight Sun,” “Tungsten Territory” and “White Light Belt.”
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.
Lantern (Media History Digital Library)
10 June 1911, Variety> (New York, NY), pg. 19, col. 1:
Where an evening’s frolic often
Represents a season’s pay—
But it’s all right when it’s spent along
That Lane of Light—Broadway.
24 October 1913, San Francisco (CA) Examiner, pg. 1, col. 8:
But with all that went on on the edged of the city, The Lane of Light and Laughter, which one called Market street last week, remained the main trodden path.
(Market Street in San Francisco.—ed.)
17 July 1914, Scranton (PA) Times, “Follies De Ziegfeld Draws Scrantonians,” pg. 13, col. 4:
...  but on a swing around Gotham any of these summer evenings the Scranton visitor will find plenty of people from home in the cafes, the dansants and the theaters that make Broadway a winding lane of light and laughter.
16 May 1922, Brooklyn (NY) Daily Eagle, “New York,” pg. 21, col. 3:
THIS is New York as seen by a writer in the Boston Post:
“We have with us this morning, New York—roaring, pulsating, Manhattan, the speed burg of the universe and Broadway, the main drag that tops them all. Broadway was once a lane of light, laughter and liquor. Now it’s a runway of regrets.
8 September 1925, Asbury Park (NJ) Evening Press, “Minute Movies” comic strip by Ed Wheelan, pg. 14, col. 1:
9 July 1928, The Morning Telegraph, (New York, NY), “Sweeping Attack On Gay Places” by Jackson Turner, pg. 1, col. 7:
Gay places along the Lane of Lights and Laughter are pictured in the report as brothels where sin and crime dance hand in hand, and young girls strayed from the path of decency lure the youth of the city into the vainglorious byways of immorality by selling their beauty to the highest bidder.
Old Fulton NY Post Cards
10 July 1928, Cohoes (NY) American, “New York Night Clubs Indignant Over 14’s Report,” pg. 12, col. 5:
“It isn’t so,” was the vehement reply of the lane of lights and laughter.
Lantern (Media History Digital Library
October 1933, Screenland, pg. 60, col. 1:
...from Broadway’s portals. So true was his prophetic vision that the night arrived when the name Morgan radiantly was spelled five times along the Lane of Lights: ...
11 July 1944, Daily News (New York, NY), pg. 13 full page ad:
A Broadway hit in the great LIGHT way!
ON THE Lane of Lights, it’s names that make the news… names of stars and bars, strugglers and jugglers, bands and beers.
(Piel’s Light Beer.—ed.)
3 October 1944, Brooklyn (NY) Daily Eagle, pg. 5, col. 4 ad:
A leading LIGHT on the Lane of Lights
(Piel’s Light Beer.—ed.)

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityStreets • Tuesday, May 25, 2021 • Permalink

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