Radio City Music Hall

1260 6th Avenue,
New York, NY 10020

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Comfortably Cool
Comfortably Cool on May 18, 2018 at 8:57 am

Easter Sunday fell on March 29th in 1964, while NYC was breathlessly awaiting the grand opening on April 22nd of its first World’s Fair since 1939-40. The Music Hall brought in “The Pink Panther” and new stage show on the next day.

NYer on May 17, 2018 at 12:32 pm

“The World of Henry Orient” opened March 1964 and “The Pink Panther” was April 23, 1964. I typed the wrong date. Sorry, full disclosure, I have Dyscalculia, numerical dyslexia, numbers and dates jumble. And yes “The Pink Panther” played all over the world first with an engagement in Italy in Dec.‘63.

vindanpar on May 17, 2018 at 11:29 am

Concerning NYer Pink Panther ad. That’s very early for a post Easter film. How many weeks did Henry Orient play and what date was Easter that year?

And did Pink Panther open everywhere before opening in NY? That’s unusual as well.

If I had a time machine it’s one of the top films I would have chosen to see at the Hall.

vindanpar on May 12, 2018 at 11:58 am

Comfortably Cool posted White Cliffs of Dover announcement.

Amazing that June Lockhart who plays the grown up Elizabeth Taylor is still with us.

A wonderful movie.

CF100 on May 1, 2018 at 5:17 pm

Article on Radio City Music Hall with photos, cut-away diagram published in a 1933 issue of Popular Science, and a 2013 plan for “America’s Got Talent.”

The auditorium’s acoustics are mentioned in the book “Spaces Speak, Are You Listening?: Experiencing Aural Architecture”, by Barry Blesser and Linda-Ruth Salter, pp109-11. (Direct link to p109.)

It says that the walls and ceiling were constructed of more than 1000 tons of Kalite sound-absorbing plaster, and the reverberation time was estimated at >1 second, noting that this is a very short time for an auditorium of such volume. Of course, today this could hardly be considered acceptable for the screening of movies.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on April 6, 2018 at 5:44 pm

Mike (saps), you will find those lists around page 73.

DavidZornig on April 6, 2018 at 3:14 pm

Art Deco apartment inside Radio City with photos.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on April 5, 2018 at 11:52 pm

I wish there was a way to bookmark the pages that contain the lists and dates of movies that played here.

vindanpar on March 29, 2018 at 12:06 pm

Am I going blind? Streisand didn’t star in What’s Up Doc? O'Neal was the only star?

Look at March 28 upload.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on March 13, 2018 at 11:23 pm

If you look at the Wikileaks entry, “KING KONG” opened at 99,000 seats in NYC, (so 50,000 was more than enough). The second week dropped 50%, due to the Roosevelt bank holiday and the fact most exploitation films do just that. Still, it was a huge success.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on March 13, 2018 at 10:59 pm

I just posted a NY Times ad for King Kong in the photo section. It says “50,000 Seats Were Not Enough”. The date was March 3, 1933.

vindanpar on March 13, 2018 at 6:52 pm

NYer with all due respect I appreciate many of your photos but do you feel perhaps in the photo section we should concentrate on the Music Hall’s history as a presentation house rather than a concert venue? Personally I feel a bit of a pang when I see these ads. I realize the Hall still exists because of these concerts but I like seeing people celebrate its glory years as a film and stage show house which made it a cinema treasure.

vindanpar on March 13, 2018 at 3:52 pm

Thank you for that. I thought it odd it was put into a doc on the Roosevelts and the depression. It seems to come out of nowhere as a consequence of the bank holiday.

PeterApruzzese on March 12, 2018 at 7:46 pm

The RCMH and the Roxy did humongous business:

vindanpar on March 12, 2018 at 4:12 pm

Supposedly King Kong did very poorly at the Music Hall because that was the week Roosevelt closed the banks. Just saw this recently in a documentary on the Roosevelts. This was news to me. I thought it had been a hit.

Very bad timing indeed. Anybody have access to Variety on microfilm to see what the week’s gross was?

curmudgeon on February 23, 2018 at 2:54 am

I agree vindanpar, that false proscenium within the original proscenium just looks tacky and cheap. Clearly, the glory days are over.

vindanpar on February 21, 2018 at 6:19 pm

And eventually in the 70s after the ballet company was eliminated the number of Rockettes on stage was reduced to 30 and they started selling popcorn which of course ended up all over the place.

The Rockefellers were doing everything they could to run the place into the ground. But then the entire way of marketing films had changed and exclusive city engagements would no longer even be considered. I just wish the inevitable end of the Music Hall as a stage show and movie palace had been a bit more dignified.

Jay Franklin Mould
Jay Franklin Mould on February 21, 2018 at 1:24 pm

Regarding the number of Rocketts. During my time at the Music Hall 61 to 64 & 67 to 70. The number on the payroll was 46. There were always 36 on stage, and the rest were on days off.

michaelkaplan on February 21, 2018 at 12:55 pm

Those hanging speakers really look bad. I agree about “A Chorus Line.” Miserable screen adaptation. Was a natural for 3D, too. Speaking of 3D: the Music Hall never showed it in the 50s. The theater was too large, and the projectors just couldn’t put out enough light. “Kiss Me, Kate” was shown flat, while it later toured in 3D. (The restoration on Blu-ray is stunning.)

vindanpar on February 21, 2018 at 8:12 am

May I point out that once when I said the Music Hall opened with 48 Roxyettes was slapped down by a poster who said from the beginning the Music Hall opened with 36 Roxyettes and he said with firm authority it was always 36. I even pointed to a photo with 48 though I must admit I might have said 46.

And there you have it in the opening ad posted by NYer 48 Roxyettes though yes it was soon to be reduced to 36.

Don’t toy with me fellas when it comes to Music Hall history.


And see General Yen. A wonderful early Capra talkie. The kind of beautiful poetic commercial film beyond any of today’s directors.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on February 11, 2018 at 10:38 am

I meant to research that a bit — but from my memory, didn’t Larry Hart see Garbo’s Camille, which was released in 1936 and was not a silent picture. The 1921 silent Camille starred Valentino and Nazimova…

NYer on February 10, 2018 at 10:31 pm

vindanpar…No stage show with “Camille” just a Pete Smith short subject “Wanted: A Master”. A gorgeous opening day ad now at The Capitol page.

vindanpar on February 10, 2018 at 5:53 pm

Annie gets it wrong.

Camille opened at the Capitol. Attention to detail is everything.

However in Words and Music which indeed opened at the Music Hall Tom Drake as Richard Rodgers gets it right and finds his way to the Capitol to see the Garbo film.

What I’m not sure of did a stage show accompany Camille at the theater where we see Cyd Charisse dance. Or was this the interim period when the Capitol stopped stage shows before the war?

moviebuff82 on February 3, 2018 at 1:02 pm

Last Sundays grammy awards at the garden were the first in nyc since it was held 8 years ago at the hall.

Comfortably Cool
Comfortably Cool on February 3, 2018 at 11:19 am

Drone views of the auditorium taken last year can be seen here