NEW YORK -- The Times Square Visitors Center opened on the site of
the historic Embassy Theatre at 1560 Broadway, between 46th and
Billed as the city's first one-stop-shopping visitor center, it
features a variety of services to help tourists make sense of all
the changes taking place in Times Square and in the city. Visitors
can use ATMs, exchange currency, buy Broadway tickets, book
sightseeing tours, purchase MetroCards and access a video history
of Times Square.
The center also offers Internet surfing on six computers,
enabling homesick tourists to e-mail friends and relatives back
home and send digital postcards. There's also a shop selling
official New York souvenirs.
The 6,000-square-foot center, which opened Sept. 1, is the focal
point of a $1.1 million restoration of the former Embassy, built in
1925 as an opulent moviehouse.
The restoration of the theater and the creation of the visitors
center "is the perfect example of building the new Times Square on
the roots of the old," said Gretchen Dykstra, president of the
Times Square Business Improvement District (BID), which operates
The Times Square BID estimates that 20 million tourists visit
Times Square annually and spend $3.5 billion in the area.