4. New Victory Theater
Now a theater for children, the New Victory was once the only XXX-porn house on the block. Built in 1900 as the Republic Theatre and opened by Oscar Hammerstein I, the New Victory is among the oldest theaters in Times Square. The saucy programming began in the 1930s when the theatre was transformed into Broadway’s first burlesque house, Minsky’s Burlesque.
Burlesque was banned by Mayor LaGuardia in 1941 forcing the theater to turn to showing movies. It changed its name to The Victory in the spirit of World War II. In the 1970s, the theater became the first in the area to start showing porn. More firsts for the theater include that it was the first to be redeveloped by The New 42nd Street organization and became the city’s first nonprofit theater programmed for youth. Last year, in a moment of history coming full circle, the theater hosted a screening of Against All Odds: Transforming 42nd Street, a documentary about 42nd Street’s redevelopment.