Radio City Music Hall

1260 Avenue of the Americas,
New York, NY 10020

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Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on June 6, 2015 at 1:32 pm

Vindanpar, welcome to CinemaTreasures… Please continue to post your thoughts and memories of the great (and not so great) cinema treasures of years past. And add some photos, too, if you have any to share.

vindanpar on June 6, 2015 at 12:35 pm

That seems curious as the Music Hall disbanded its' ballet company 4 years earlier and it was not in existence when the Music Hall ended its' film/stage show format.

This was especially unfortunate as the ballet company was the ensemble on which the Music Halls spectacles were built such as Rhapsody in Blue, Bolero and the Undersea Ballet.

I remember many years ago seeing color photos of Music Hall stage shows from the 50s and they really were something. I wish somebody would find them and post them.

By the 70s when I was going and especially after the ballet company was dismissed the stage shows were incredibly amateurish, cheap looking and embarrassing. The curtain opening kept getting smaller and smaller doing little to disguise the fact that the sets were puny and there were few people on stage. Even the Rockettes were reduced to 30!

Even when films still had limited engagements the Music Hall got the leftovers which were from hunger. Why didn’t the Hall get films like The Way We Were, Murder on the Orient Express or That’s Entertainment? Because the studios no longer wanted their films to open there. Seeing stuff on the great screen like The Girl from Petrovka and Hennesy was mortifying.

Little_Billy_At_The_Movies on May 31, 2015 at 11:51 am

In 1978 New York’s “Showplace of the Nation,” Radio City Music Hall, was threatened with closure and possible demolition. There have been many accounts of the efforts to save the building, some more accurate than others, but you can see a brief history of what really happened at the following link:

Rosemary Novellino, the captain of the Radio City Music Hall ballet company at the time, led the fight to save the iconic Art Deco masterpiece from destruction. She has documented the struggle in a new book “Saving Radio City Music Hall – A Dancer’s True Story” which is available from, and

GeorgeStrum on May 21, 2015 at 7:13 pm

Experience an evening at the Music Hall on the night of June 6, 1939. Find the following videos on Youtube: Radio City Music Hall March Loews Wonder Morton Organ. Goofy and Wilbur 1939. Tchaikovsky Symp. 6 movements 2 & 3. Corp de Ballet (1936) 1930s Rockettes at Radio City, Jan Pierce 1939 Vesti la giubba. Frank Sinatra Wishing 1939. The Sun Never Sets 1939 (1 min clip), Not all clips are from 39 and many are condensed but you’ll get a little feel of what you may have seen and heard at the Music Hall on 6/6/39.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on April 17, 2015 at 7:33 pm

I love that term “picture sheet.” Thanks for using it…!

rcdt55b on April 17, 2015 at 4:02 pm

We actually did just install a brand new house picture sheet this past Monday.

GeorgeStrum on April 17, 2015 at 3:37 pm

I wish they would return to the movie/show policy. for perhaps one special day or week

rcdt55b on March 12, 2015 at 4:58 pm

Nope. In fact, they are sealed up so you can’t even tell they’re there.

HenryABax on March 12, 2015 at 4:35 pm

Are they using the Wurlitzer before and/or during the Spring Spectacular?

markp on March 12, 2015 at 9:15 am

I noticed the booth looked dark. No film on this show I guess. Im just thankful my wife got called to work the show since her Broadway show closed in January. This ol projectionist doesn’t have much to do these days. Would still love to see your magnificent booth someday. You guys keep up the good work.

rcdt55b on March 11, 2015 at 6:40 am

It’s not just you Mark. We see the seams and tile color differences from the booth. The wall is crap. Always was, always will be.

markp on March 11, 2015 at 6:21 am

Went to the dress rehersal of the spring spectacular last night. It is in a word, “spectacular.” The costumes were awesome, the rain scene was incredible, and the statue of liberty, while I feel is a bit too large, was amazing as well. One downer was the video wall used for the 3D effect as well as other portions in the show, I could see some seams and some squares were brighter than others. (This coming from a former projectionist with over 37 years expeirience) And to be fair I was in the 2nd row from the stage. But otherwise, a job well done and a truely great show. Perhaps the start of a new annual tradition.

DavidM on December 15, 2014 at 1:58 pm

rcdt55b, thanks so much

rcdt55b on December 15, 2014 at 1:49 pm

Hey David. Is it possible that they renumbered the seats since then? The 2 seats house left of the console in BB are actually 412-413. They are definitely used as handicapped seats if needed. There was a wheelchair there yesterday for one of the shows. I looked at the ticket list and every show seems to be sold out for those seats till the end of the run. Sorry.

DavidM on December 15, 2014 at 1:08 pm

2014 marks the 50th anniversary of my first visit to the Hall, a very special event I’d like to commemorate it by sitting in the same seats my grandfather and I sat in, row BB, seats 413-414. They are the two seats house left of the lighting console. Alas, I can’t seem to get them. They are marked as handicapped seats though I’ve never seen a disabled person sitting in them. I know some folks here work at the Hall. Can anyone provide some assistance? Thanks.

rcdt55b on November 11, 2014 at 8:27 am

I’m not denying the fact that it looks bad. It also cut into the size of the 3-D image. We had to make the picture smaller.

ERD on November 11, 2014 at 7:43 am

The fact still holds that the false proscenium cuts down the original proscenium opening and in many people’s opinion looks ugly. The stage shows of many decades ago were more spectacular. Originally, the speakers were hidden in the grills of the ceiling.

rcdt55b on November 11, 2014 at 6:01 am

The false proscenium was added for 2 reasons. First it hides the speakers used for the show. Remember how the speakers used to be hung from the ceiling in plain sight? Secondly, it added surface area for the digital projection elements used for the Christmas show and spring show so it actually didn’t save money at all.

As far as the organs go, they do sound great. The reason they do is because components that haven’t worked in years, were all fixed. They are now able to use the entire range of effect available to them.

Crowds have been decent. Remember, the official opening night is not until this Thursday. After that, attendance usually picks up.

moviebuff82 on November 10, 2014 at 11:25 am

How is the christmas show doing with crowds? Seems that this show is the most famous show at the hall….

ERD on November 10, 2014 at 7:51 am

The fake proscenium cuts down the size of the scenery, saving money. Glad to learn they stage show has improved. I still remember those wonderful 45 minute Leonidoff stage productions that were presented with the movies.Something so magical about them.

HenryABax on November 10, 2014 at 5:06 am

The new Christmas show is a great improvement. The terrible video number is gone and has been replaced by the familiar, and much better, “Rag Doll” number. Also, the organists are playing a new medley as an overture. The old one sounded like endless transitions without songs/carols in between. Now, you can identify the pieces that they are playing.

Furthermore, the show begins with the orchestra coming up on the lift, the consoles rolling out, and singers on the waterfall stage extensions singing Christmas carols. They are dressed in traditional RCMH usher uniforms. It’s a nice tribute to the history of the Music Hall.

I also like the way that the organs pick up the last piece as the consoles roll out to play the “Hallelujah Chorus” as exit music. The organists end with a big D major chord and holding bottom D, middle D, and top D in the pedals. That bottom D on the Wurlitzer hits the resonant frequency of the room. A nice old fashioned trick that Leibert used effectively for years. Overall, it seems that someone in charge is being more sensitive to what sounds and looks good in the space. Now, if we could only get rid of that fake proscenium insert that reduces the size of the opening.

markp on November 8, 2014 at 4:42 pm

Like I said, I guess being a projectionist for over 38 years, I notice these things the average joe would not. If they ever give booth tours Im in, LOL

rcdt55b on November 8, 2014 at 9:18 am

The girls scouts were gone before our test so I was able to go down. Unfortunately, because of the angle the projectors shoot down at, the hotspot that you’re seeing is more prevalent in the front parts of the orchestra seats. The further back you go, the less the hot spotting seems. Curving the screen would lessen this, but there is just no room to fly a curved screen up. As Vito was saying, the 3D effect usually is lessened the further off center you go. The one good thing about the screen here not being curved is that it actually does not lessen the effect. I checked out the side seats last year during a test and there was very little drop off of light. I took a few pictures that I will post in a few minutes.

Vito on November 8, 2014 at 7:57 am

Thanks redt55b I would love to see some updated photos, as to the equipment being clean I found the entire booth immaculate including the polished floors. Clearly a lot of pride in that work space. Yes Mark us booth junkies are a special breed.

rcdt55b on November 8, 2014 at 4:57 am

Thanks Mark. It’s good to know your exact seat. I will have to check it tomorrow. Girl Scouts are here today.

Vito mentioned how clean the equipment was. For a week and a half during load in this year, we completely torn down both 70MM projectors. Everything was cleaned and parts were replaced as needed. Very few parts. I will try and post some pictures later.