Fifty Years Ago Tonight: New Year’s Eve, 1964

new-year-eve-1964

Times Square, New Year’s Eve, 1964.

9 Comments on "Fifty Years Ago Tonight: New Year’s Eve, 1964"

  1. Bags' Groove | December 31, 2014 at 1:01 pm |

    “The proper behaviour all through the holiday season is to be drunk. This drunkenness culminates on New Year’s Eve, when you get so drunk you kiss the person you’re married to.” P J O’Rourke.

  2. This is such a little thing, but it’s so jarring to see Times Square with a department store in it. I always thought it was full of theaters—first legitimate, then later less so—and that the new Disney Store Times Square was the first instance of there being significant retail there.

    Speaking of jarring images, did people still gather for the ball drop during the seventies? I would imagine it had to be a severely diminished event when the square was at its worst.

  3. WhollyRoamin | December 31, 2014 at 5:36 pm |

    I wasn’t in Times Square in the 70s, but it’s on TV in Forrest Gump 1972.

    So there’s that.

  4. A.E.W. Mason | January 1, 2015 at 2:21 am |

    Google “Bond Clothing Stores” for an interesting read on the clothier in the picture. The rag trade is a tough business.

  5. In 1940 Bond Clothiers opened the store at Times Square. Iwas Dubbed “the cathedral of clothing”, it closed in 1977. In 1980, the building was a dance club called Bond International Casino, notable for hosting a concert by The Clash in 1981. The building now houses a restaurant called Bond 45.

  6. I lived in NY in the 70’s. Times Square was not so very bad. Its badness in the 70’s has been greatly exaggerated. New Year’s Eve was still a big deal there but I didn’t go there for New Year’s Eve myself.

    Many of the movie theatres along West 42nd Street to the west of 7th Avenue showed porno movies, but so what? That block isn’t actually in Times Square.

  7. Vern Trotter | January 1, 2015 at 7:07 pm |

    I was there to usher in 1960. It was bitter cold, around zero, I think. Huge crowd like now. West 42nd street had a lot of porn theaters, the Square also along with peep shows and strip joints. Hotels, the Taft, was one, where a lot of college students and prep schoolers stayed. Sounds bad but was actually safe. Howard Johnson’s, the Automat, Tads, Jack Dempsey’s, Nedick’s, Robert Hall ( sold suits with two pairs of pants for $39.) Brooks, a few blocks away, off the rack suits were $89, I believe. Red label OCBDs were $6 and rep ties were $4.

    The first ball dropped in 1907. I think it was blacked out during WW2 to protect ships at sea from German U Boats who could see their outline against the horizon’s big city lights.

  8. New Year’s Eve 1964 was truly a watershed … home in New York having graduated from college in the spring and soaked up the sun at various beaches along the Northeast coast during the summer. Then the change. Off to OCS in Newport Rhode Island followed by sea duty for three years. Nothing was the same after that. I changed, New York changed, and the country changed.

  9. Helene Farber | December 29, 2017 at 5:37 am |

    I was in Times Square New Year’s Eve 1966. My girlfriends and I first went to see Warhol’s “The Chelsea Girls.” Then probably about 10 or 11 we headed down to Times Square. It was cold and I remember a little snow, and it was packed with people. But unlike when I went there for the millennium (1999) I don’t remember police barricades and being smashed into people. No, in 1966, you could roam free. We were by a Howard Johnson’s. I was 15, almost 16 and when the ball dropped I was swept up and kissed by a handsome young stranger. It wasn’t harassment, just pure fun, joy and exuberance. On the way home to Queens on the subway, we sang and all the commuters joined in. It is my best New Year’s Eve memory.

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