Marking the end of an era, New York City on Monday removed the last of its floor-to-ceiling Pephone booths, which have been the subject of free Wi-Fi and cell phone universality in recent years.
But Superman fans can be comforted by the fact that Manhattan will have four extinct booths, which became famous as instant changing rooms as journalist Clark Kent was transformed into Man of Steel.
For decades, from comic books to Hollywood blockbusters and TV shows, phone booths have been widely used in pop culture.
It ended Monday morning, when, in front of the assembled media, the last booth housing the Manhattan borough president – the mayor’s equivalent – Mark Levine’s two bell system Pephone was smashed at the corner of 7th Avenue and 50th Street and a flatbed truck was lifted.
Levin said on Twitter that he was “present for the last time today to say ‘Bye Bye’ on the famous (infamous?) NYC pay phone.”
“I will not miss all the dead dial tones but I must say that I felt nostalgia watching it go,” he added.
Fixed-line payphones began to disappear from the streets of New York in the early 2000’s when cell phone use spread and then disappeared more rapidly in the 2010’s with the explosion of smartphones.
When the final blow comes, in 2015, Manhattan installed thousands of LinkNYC hotspots as well as offering WiFi and free local calls.
These new kiosks will be gradually connected to the emerging 5G network.
“It’s really the end of an era, but hopefully, a new beginning with more equity in access to technology,” Levine said, referring to the neighborhoods around North Manhattan, such as Harlem, which are less covered by telephone and Internet networks.
According to local media, Manhattan will have four old-fashioned phone booths at 66, 90, 100th and 101st streets on the Upper West Side, West End Avenue.
(This story was not edited by NDTV staff and was automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)