27 September 2011

Remembering Hotalings News Service

This shuttered storefront on W. 42nd Street, just off Broadway, once contained the Hotalings News Agency. In the days before the Internet changed everything, Hotalings was an essential cog in the New York media machine. It was where citizens and journalists alike went to find foreign newspapers and magazines. Hotalings carried daily editions of publications from across the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe and elsewhere. If, for instance, you were an agent wondering how your client had fared in a play that had opened in London the day before, the only way you could read the reviews was to run to Hotalings. I went there often, and I know I wasn't the only reporter to do so.

It was founded in 1905—from a perch in Times Square since 1926—and run by three succession generations of Hotalings. The advent of the Internet killed the business pretty swiftly in the late '90s. It closed June 30, 1999, and moved to a small kiosk in the newly opened Times Square Visitors Center. After a few years, if left there, too. There's still a listing for a Hotalings News Service on W. 52nd Street. Not sure of the level of their business these days.


Mykola ( Mick) Dementiuk said...

Hotaling's appears in my novella 'My Father's Semen' about a young man seeking his father and coming to NYC in the 1990s to see 42nd Street all boarded up and shut down. It's in the "Cruising for Bad Boys" anthology from STARbook Press available on Amazon.

Anonymous said...

I always remember going there to pick up local papers prior to an overseas trip. It was a great way to see news and ads.