Walk back in time through the Theater District as you unearth its hidden past as a glamorous and grimy cinematic center.

Belasco Theatre

78% of 116 Groupon Customers Recommend

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What You'll Do

Before Times Square was a glitzy tourist haven, it rose and fell from a paradise of opulent movie palaces to a hotbed of crime and grimy adult movie parlors. Strolling past the towering billboards and sprawling stores that today flank the square, film scholar Max Alvarez transports you back to the seedy and sensational episodes in the square's history with the help of old images.

  • See Images from Times Square's Past
    Pictures show the square in its movie-palace heyday and 1970s decadence

  • Hear Broadway's Stories
    Scholar and historian Max Alvarez relates little-known stories from the area's sometimes glamorous, oft-checkered, and always interesting past

Each event is capped at 12 participants; each event requires a minimum of 6 participants in order to take place.


Your Host

Max Alvarez Max Alvarez
Film Scholar and Historian

Max Alvarez first fell in love with Times Square when he was 5 and his family took him to a Jerry Lewis flick in one of 42nd Street's movie palaces. Since that day, he's been captivated by the silver screen. He would later work in the movie industry before becoming a film scholar, speaking and researching at the Smithsonian, New York Public Library, and the Lincoln Center's Library for the Performing Arts. Photo credit: Christian Montone.


Scheduled Dates

Events begin at 10:30 a.m.

  • Saturday
    November 16 | November 23
    December 7 | December 14 | December 21


Where You'll Meet

Tours begin outside the Belasco Theatre.



Tips from Groupon Customers

  • “We had an amazing time. Josh was fun and it was relaxing. :)”

  • “Was great and would recommend”

  • “really nice staff and very fun venue. I had a great time on this excursion, would definitely repeat!”


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    Belasco Theatre

    111 West 44th street

    New York, New York 10036

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In a Nutshell

Film scholar and historian walks you through the bustle of Times Square as you learn about its movie palace heyday and 1970s decline

The Fine Print

Expiration varies. Refundable only on day of purchase. Min. of 6 participants or experience subject to cancellation. No value after experience date & time have passed. Please provide email address at checkout, which SideTour will provide to facilitate redemption. Gratuity included. Merchant is solely responsible to purchasers for the care and quality of the advertised goods and services.

Experiences that expand cultural awareness, such as museums, tours, and literature
For those who love cinema, from the movie theater to the DVD box set