Radio City Music Hall

1260 Avenue of the Americas,
New York, NY 10020

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Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on May 20, 2004 at 8:02 am

Basketball can be played anywhere if you have a flat space large enough to accommodate it. During the Depression, many large neighborhood theatres booked basketball games on stage during slow nights of the week.

VincentParisi
VincentParisi on May 20, 2004 at 7:46 am

How do people who make these decisions get their jobs?
I assume they’re recruited from the FBI and the CIA. Nothing else seems to explain such waste and staggering incompetency.

William
William on May 20, 2004 at 7:39 am

The scope screen is 69' x 31' and full ratio 70MM screen is 69' x 34'. I was typing to fast on that post. All three films “Darling Lili”, “Scrooge” and “Tom Sawyer” were all 70MM blow-ups. “Airport” looked fantastic on the big screen.

RobertR
RobertR on May 20, 2004 at 7:26 am

This is another example of NY theatres not being respected. This is one of the most degrading things to ever happen at The Music Hall. ANyways how can basketball be played on a stage>?

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on May 20, 2004 at 7:03 am

I was saddened by reading that the vast stage of RCMH is being turned into a basketball court for games by the NY Liberty team in July and September…For most of the summer, the theatre will be closed except for “backstage” tours and nine concerts or special events (including the Tony Awards telecast on June 6th, which is not open to the public).

VincentParisi
VincentParisi on May 20, 2004 at 7:02 am

William what is the size of the of the cinemascope screen? From what I remember from seeing 7 Brides there in the late 70’s it is larger than the 70mm screen. Also was Darling Lillie a blow up like Scrooge or real 70mm? Blow-ups never looked good at the Music Hall. Both Scrooge and Tom Sawyer were somewhat grainy and washed out but Airport in Todd AO with those old fashioned glossy Ross Hunter production values looked sensational.

William
William on May 19, 2004 at 1:42 pm

The Music Hall was relatively late in installing 70MM projection equipment because of the necessity of accommodating the stage show that accompanied the film. The Music Hall show always ran between two and three hours including the stage show which varied in length depending on the length of the feature. Since the initial 70MM attractions were all Roadshow presentations, it was felt that they were too long to be played at the Music Hall. Then in 1970 Ross Hunter, the producer of “Airport” insisted that film be shown at the Hall in 70MM. The Music Hall would run two other 70MM featuresthat year “Darling Lili” and “Scrooge”. Since 1970 approximately twenty-two features have had 70MM presentation at the Hall, either as part of the movie.stage show policy or as premieres and special presentations. The screen at the Music Hall is 69 ½' x 34 ½'. The regular 35mm 1.85 ratio use is 48' x 26' and the 70MM Full screen is 69' x 31' and spherical 70MM (1.85 blow-up) is 63' x 34'.
The size of the auditorium presents a number of unique projection problems. Often prints are tailored to the theatre. This usually means printing them a little lighter in density to increse the apparent light on the screen. since the projection throw is about 185' to the screen, if the sound is in sync with the picture at the screen it is four frames out-of-sync at the back of the third mezzanine.

William
William on May 19, 2004 at 1:38 pm

The Music Hall was relatively late in installing 70MM projection equipment because of the necessity of accommodating the stage show that accompanied the film. The Music Hall show always ran between two and three hours including the stage show which varied in length depending on the length of the feature. Since the initial 70MM attractions were all Roadshow presentations, it was felt that they were too long to be played at the Music Hall. Then in 1970 Ross Hunter, the producer of “Airport” insisted that film be shown at the Hall in 70MM. The Music Hall would run two other 70MM featuresthat year “Darling Lili” and “Scrooge”. Since 1970 approximately twenty-two features have had 70MM presentation at the Hall, either as part of the movie.stage show policy or as premieres and special presentations. The screen at the Music Hall is 69 ½' x 34 ½'. The regular 35mm 1.85 ratio use is 48' x 26' and the 70MM Full screen is 69' x 31' and spherical 70MM (1.85 blow-up) is 63' x 34'.
The size of the auditorium presents a number of unique projection problems. Often prints are tailored to the theatre. This usually means printing them a little lighter in density to increse the apparent light on the screen. since the projection throw is about 185' to the screen, if the sound is in sync with the picture at the screen it is four frames out-of-sync at the back of the third mezzanine.

VincentParisi
VincentParisi on May 19, 2004 at 11:52 am

Airport opened at the Music Hall not at the Warner.Except for a few films in the 30’s the Music Hall always opened a film in NY until the mid 70’s.(Though they probably should have taken 2nd run a few roadshow films like Gigi and Millie.)

William
William on May 19, 2004 at 11:17 am

“Airport” was not given a true Roadshow release be Universal. It was one of the last features tobe filmed in 65mm. It got major showcased release.

RobertR
RobertR on May 19, 2004 at 11:03 am

Under the list of Roadshows they list Airport, but this was really a moveover from the Warner Cinerama. Was it really roadshow even at the Warner? Also Didnt Mary Poppins play roadshow except in New York where it opeded at the Music Hall?

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on May 19, 2004 at 9:18 am

Donald Deskey was the architect and interior designer of Radio City Music Hall. “Roxy” Rothafel was only the theatre’s managing director, though he did oversee the project after persuading Rockefeller Center to pay for it.

William
William on May 19, 2004 at 8:49 am

On the front page of this site under Theatre News it reported that movies were coming to the Music Hall, but Tarrytown, NY. They have the article from the “Journal News”, Westchester. On June 25-27, a series of films return to that screen. “Cinema Paradiso”, “Some Like It Hot”, “Being John Malkovich” and “The Wizard of Oz”.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on May 19, 2004 at 8:20 am

Robert, I read the Daily News every day, but did not see the story. Could you please post details, and price scale if you know it. RCMH’s website does not have any information, nor does Ticketmaster, which lists RCMH’s schedule of events for entire summer and beyond.

RobertR
RobertR on May 19, 2004 at 7:15 am

Did everyone hear movies will be returning to the Music Hall this summer !!!!!!!!!! It was in yesterdays daily news. I am not thrilled with some of the films they mentioned, where are the epics????

VincentParisi
VincentParisi on May 5, 2004 at 2:32 pm

Well I think now it’s time for a comprehensive list of all theaters in NY, their hardticket films and dates of opening and closing and the date when a film at same theater(if this being the case) switched to continuous performances.
Please list under this page of the Astor Plaza.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on May 5, 2004 at 2:30 pm

Brucec makes an excellent point here. In 1989, the first New York showing of “The Abyss” was at the Music Hall, for one night only, and it looked like every seat was taken.

Warren, sorry for going off-topic and off-theater so much, but I think the Music Hall was used for a roadshow attraction at least once, and recently too: “The Lion King” in 1994. I remember having to order tickets in advance. Not technically a real roadshow, I guess, but close.

bruceanthony
bruceanthony on May 5, 2004 at 2:15 pm

Warren this is correct. The current Radio City owneres haven’t even tested the viability of a limited stage and screen series during the summer. There could be a cross promotion between Cablevisions AMC movie channel and Radio City. Is the Disney Company the only distibutor left that knows a little bit about showmanship take a look at the small scale stage and screen at the El Capitan in Hollywood. Since the distributors make more money on DVD’s than the theatical run of the movie the Music Hall could be used for the new releases of classics and newer films as part of there promotion.Its amazing to me that two of the most successful movie palaces of all times Radio City and the Chicago Theatre are not being utilized to there full potential.The Music Hall could even be used for 1 week on the release of a new film such as Troy, Spiderman,Harry Potter,Alexander,Phantom of the Opera etc.This could be done without the stage show if necessary,because the distributor would want 90 per cent of the Box Office after the house expense. The point is the current owner Cablevision needs to try different things some may work and some may not.brucec

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on May 5, 2004 at 1:38 pm

What do Times Square roadshows have to do with Radio City Music Hall? To the best of my knowledge, RCMH was never a “roadshow” house. The movies and accompanying stage shows were presented continuously, and at “popular prices.” The only reserved seats sold were for the first mezzanine.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on May 5, 2004 at 1:26 pm

To add to William’s excellent list, here are a few more Times Square roadshows from the final years of the roadshow era:

“Funny Girl” at the Criterion
“Oliver!” at Loew’s State 1
“Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” at Loew’s State 2
“Star!” at the Rivoli
“Tora! Tora! Tora!” at the Criterion
“Nicholas and Alexandra” at the Criterion
“Fiddler on the Roof” at the Rivoli

RobertR
RobertR on May 5, 2004 at 10:25 am

I could have sworn I saw Patton at The Rivoli?

William
William on May 5, 2004 at 9:40 am

Vincent
You might find the answer about why “The Sand Pebbles” was not a Todd-AO film in the documentary about the making of “The Sound of Music” in Special Edition DVD. I think Robert Wise talked alittle about it. Right before the engagement of “The Sand Pebbles” United Artists Theatre installed the D-150 screen into the Rivoli Theatre.
But the only two D-150 films were booked into other Times Square theatres. “Patton” opened at the Criterion Theatre and “The Bible” opened at the Loew’s State Theatre.

William
William on May 5, 2004 at 9:32 am

Here are a few of the 70MM Roadshow engagements for Times Square area.
(List not by date)
“Oklahoma” at the Rivoli (51 weeks)
“Around the World in 80 Days” at the Rivoli (113 weeks)
“Can Can” at the Rivoli
“Cleopatra” at the Rivoli
“Sound of Music” at the Rivoli
“Star” at the Rivoli
“Hello Dolly” at the Rivoli
“The Big Fisherman” at the Rivoli
“West Side Story” at the Rivoli
“The Last Valley” at the Rivoli
“South Pacific” (open Criterion for 29 weeks, move-over Rivoli for 25 weeks more.)
“My Fair Lady” at the Criterion
“Agony and the Ectasy” at the State
“Ben-Hur” at the State
“Mutiny on the Bounty” at the State
“King of Kings” at the State
“Chitty Chitty, Bang Bang” at the State 2
“Porgy and Bess” at the Warner
“Greatest Story Ever Told” at the Warner
“Battle of the Bulge” at the Warner
“Exodus” at the Warner
“How the West Was Won” at the Warner
“Hallelujah Trail” (premired at the Warner)opened at the Capital
“Spartacus” at the DeMille
“Those Magnificent Men in there Flying Machines” at the DeMille
“2001” at the Capital
“Grand Prix” at the Warner
“Airport” at the Radio City Music Hall (1st 70MM film)
“Krakatoa, East of Java” at the Warner
“Song of Norway” at the Warner

Those are just a few of the original 70MM Roadshow films that played in the Time Square area over the years.

RobertR
RobertR on May 5, 2004 at 8:31 am

What house did they move the Sound of Music to when it left The Rivoli?

VincentParisi
VincentParisi on May 5, 2004 at 8:30 am

Is that possible? Did it really run that long? I thought the record breaker there was the Sound of Music which I believe was 88 weeks which the theater wanted to keep longer and Fox pulled it to put in Sand Pebbles(Made strangely enough in Panavision and not in Todd AO.I’d love to know why.)