Throwback Thursday: "The New York Experience" at the McGraw-Hill Building
"The New York Experience" was a 55-minute multimedia, shock-and-awe extravaganza that showcased all the things that make Gotham great. It ran from the early 1970s to the late 1980s at the McGraw-Hill Building. Recently, a video on YouTube turned up featuring an ad for the spectacle, which is very much worth watching, along with the other ads that follow. (Remember the May's department store chain? "Every day's a sales day at May's," the jingle went.)
Back to "The New York Experience." Per a New York Times story on its closure:
Over the 15 years, 3 months and 4 days of the ''Experience,'' Mr. [Albert] Boyars did some updating. But he never got rid of the subway tokens with Y's in the middle, the nonelectronic taxi meters that clicked a dime at a time or the 10-cent cup of coffee, also at the Automat. ''It's a costly thing to reshoot,'' Mr. Boyars said, ''and I personally was in that scene.''
.... ''The New York Experience'' came to be like the Statue of Liberty: New Yorkers knew about it; they just did not go there very often. By the time it closed, it was a dinosaur of a show, faded film and slides lumbering through the video age.
At the last performance - No. 51,591 - the projection room was clicking and whirring like a lunatic pinball machine, switching on four 16-millimeter projectors and an arsenal of slide projectors, tape players, bubble machines, fog makers (''We've had ladies tell the manager, 'You ruined my bouffant,' '' Mr. Boyars said). In the beginning, there was a giant tuba under the theater with a 26-foot-long speaker. For that high-fidelity subway rumble.
Read the rest of the article on this forgotten NYC classic here. The YouTube video is below.