Mann's Chinese Theatre. The Capitol Records building. The hillside Hollywood sign. All these are legendary bits of Los Angeles iconography. Just as famous is the Walk of Fame, with stars embedded in sidewalk tiles to commemorate great performers in the entertainment biz.
Isn't it about time Broadway had its own walk of fame?
That idea has fired up a number of advocates, according to Cindy Adams' column in the May 5 New York Post. A local government source told Playbill On-Line the idea had been kicking around for a number of years, and ran into trouble becoming reality because the city administration at that time didn't like the idea of public property being used for a possibly commercial intent.
According to Adams and confirmed to Playbill On-Line by Richard Basini of the Broadway Association, the idea was resurrected by Arlene Dahl, a board member of the Theatre Hall Of Fame. She came to the Association with the idea and was soon appointed chairman of the Walk Of Stars Committee, which is pitch the concept to New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani's office. Several sponsors have apparently expressed interest in the project, which would run from 42nd St. up to 53rd St.
Basini said the idea is still in its nascent stages, and several weeks will pass before an announcement would be readied. "We're looking at the costs right now. The design has yet to be approved, and we're still talking to an architect. Remember, Hollywood has over 1,500 plaques." As for the New York Walk, "It'll be all five arts," said Basini, "including theatre, movies, radio, TV, and music. It isn't a new idea; we had six plaques honoring the first six people to win the Tony Awards in front of the Crown Plaza Hotel for years. Then the Dinkins Administration thought the Plaza should pay an exhorbitant fee for the space. So the hotel -- after spending a fortune to put them in -- took them out. The Giuliani administration, however, sees this as a big attraction for theatre-goers." Little known is that New York already has something of a walk of fame. On St. Marks Place in the East Village, outside the Pearl Theatre, several old-time Hollywood stars, such as Myrna Loy, placed their hand and footprints in the sidewalk.
--By David Lefkowitz