The New York City Fire Department said the fire started at West 64th Street and West End Avenue and affected at least 42,000 customers as of 8 p.m. Saturday.
People in Times Square said it was like nothing they've ever seen before - half of the Crossroads of America was dark, while the other half was not.
Many people who showed up to Broadway shows on Saturday night were disappointed to find out the theaters were dark and their shows were canceled.
Many Broadway musicals and plays canceled their Saturday evening shows, including "Hadestown," which last month won the Tony Award for best musical. Several cast members from the show put on an impromptu performance in the street outside the theater for disappointed audience members.
Emily Totero, 30, planned to bring out-of-town guests to see "Moulin Rouge." But once they got to the theater district, they saw the power go out.
"You could see all the theater lights across the street, all the marquees went out. That's what we noticed first," she said.
Some shows like "Frozen" were among the Broadway shows to announce it had canceled performances.
The dance captain of Hamilton said the cast was at the theater when the blackout occurred, they gathered on stage to warm up and sing songs to each other when management made the call it was time for everyone to go home.
Some decided to try to make the best of it, including the cast of "Come From Away."
The outage also impacted fans who attended a Jennifer Lopez concert at Madison Square Garden. At least 25,000 were forced to evacuate MSG after Lopez only performed three songs.
Power was restored to most of Manhattan by 10:30 p.m., and entertainment reporter Sandy Kenyon was there when the lights came back on in Times Square.
It was not yet clear how fans would be refunded or if the canceled Broadway performances would be rescheduled, though Lopez later said that her concert had been rescheduled for Monday night.