For the longest time, I’ve wondered about a mysterious ghost sign at the corner of 51st & Ninth Avenue in Hell’s Kitchen:
If you’re unfamiliar with the term, a ghost sign is a sign left from a business that no longer exists. This one is for “Network – The Entertainment Company,” and it’s in such good shape, you might think it’s actually still around (I love that little ladder up the side):
Many people have written about it over the years, but no one seems to know what it was. I’ve always imagined it to be an old-timey talent agency – aspiring actors rubbing elbows with amateur singers and vaudeville-esque performers in a cramped waiting room, all hoping to become part of The Network, the greatest collection of stars in the world!
Alas, the truth is somewhat less exciting. After trying in vain to track down the frustratingly generic Network name, it finally occurred to me to pair the name with the address (754 Ninth Ave). And so, from the December 10, 1979 issue of New York Magazine…
So it was a theater, most likely in the space Vynl is in today. Apparently, it was short-lived – the last listing I was able to find was an August 23rd, 1982 ad for a show called The Passion of Frankenstein (which, incidentally, sounds awesome). After that, it vanished, leaving only this sign as proof it ever existed.
But one mystery still remains! If you look closely, you’ll see that one side of the sign has peeled off, revealing a wooden sign underneath – and the letter G.
So what was being advertised here before Network showed up? I would LOVE to see what’s underneath.
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