Radio City Music Hall

1260 Avenue of the Americas,
New York, NY 10020

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Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on December 22, 2015 at 12:14 am

I’m surprised to hear that Radio City presented a re-release as a regular presentation, and with a stage show no less…!

vindanpar
vindanpar on December 21, 2015 at 2:53 pm

She did not mean ‘65 she meant '75. SOM had a run with stage show. I remember it as it was one of the most beautiful 70MM prints of a film I have ever seen and the sound was spectacular. A great movie presentation(maybe I should thank Mr. Endres.)

I didn’t stay for the stage show because by that time they were so pathetic they were unwatchable. By this time there was no ballet and the Rockettes were cut to 30. The great spectacles that made the Hall famous were no longer done. There were relatively few people on that vast stage and sets were simple and unimpressive.

Also at this point so few people were going to the Hall that sometimes the lights were kept a dark blue so you didn’t realize you were only among a couple of hundred people in a theater of 6,000 seats. Of course you knew and it was painfully sad.

The only good thing I could say about the Hall at this point is that they could still could present a movie. Singing in the Rain, Fantasia and The Sting(if only it had opened there!)were also excellent presentations.

Also the Hall was kept unadorned and intact in its art deco magnificence. No extraneous lights, video screens or thunderous ugly Dolby speakers on the choral stairs.

hanksykes
hanksykes on December 21, 2015 at 2:00 pm

Nearly forgot the lights in the seat backs for reading programs no longer worked in the mid-fifties.Post cards of the stage were for sale at the concession stand, but no pin ball machines!

hanksykes
hanksykes on December 21, 2015 at 1:56 pm

Yes about 1956 ticket prices, My Mom and I in that year paid 99cents for the first show at Xmas , plus full length movie,plus 36 rockettes, plus 60 corpse ballet members, probably the pit orchestra was 65 strong (no recorded music),plus 25 male chorus, plus ice skaters,plus comic, plus Wurlitzer organ short concert to start and used again during the Navivity number,plus original waterfall curtain, which you didn’t see walking feet under , plus a 6 page free printed program. As a pricing example the first balcony was $1.25. Plus real scenery not digital! All elevators were used and the bandcar,what an experience, thank you ,thank god I’m old!!!!

RobertEndres
RobertEndres on December 21, 2015 at 1:43 pm

It did, but I’ll have to look up the date. We played it in 70mm and on one performance the operators skipped from reel 5 to reel 8 without running 6 and 7. I was relatively new at the time and had to write a letter to the Business Agent registering management’s displeasure. That did cause the run to stick in my mind.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on December 21, 2015 at 1:34 pm

Did it EVER play here?

rcdt55b
rcdt55b on December 21, 2015 at 1:07 pm

1/6/65-1/27/65 Father Goose 1/28/65-3/3/65 36 Hours ¾/65-3/31/65 Dear Heart 4/1/65-5/12/65 Operation Crossbow 5/13/65-7/14/65 Yellow Rolls Royce 7/15/65-9/15/65 Sandpiper 9/16/65-11/3/65 Great Race 11/4/65-12/1/65 Never Too Late 12/2/65-1/5/66 That Darn Cat

Sound Of Music did not play here in 1965. I have ALL the original books here that were used by the projectionist since the building opened.

Myron
Myron on December 21, 2015 at 12:42 pm

75 cents before noon. In the 50’s, I recall a ticket to the Radio City Music Hall was just 75 cents or 90 cents before noon. Can anybody confirm this and we used to get a free souvenir program as well describing the film & stage performance. I saved the programs somewhere in my house.

Myron
Myron on December 21, 2015 at 12:38 pm

A lady swears that she saw The Sound of Music at the Music Hall in 1965. I am certain that it never played there back in 1965 as it was 3 hours long plus a live performance would mean a frozen line outside for 4 hours. Sound of Music did finally play at the Music Hall decades later for a sing-a-long version without any stage show (no Rockettes). I saw Sound of Music in 1965 at the Rivoli Theatre in 1965 in Todd-AO.

rcdt55b
rcdt55b on December 11, 2015 at 2:39 pm

The only Santa part that is on a track is the 3D flight from the North Pole. The rest of the show is all him. The other main characters say and sing there own vocals also. The rest of the ensemble pretty much runs off of tracks. I’m pretty sure the Rockettes are tracks too but I’ll check.

HenryABax
HenryABax on December 11, 2015 at 2:29 pm

Can anyone tell me how much of the vocal music for the Christmas Show is dubbed? I assume that all of it is, including Santa’s monologues.

rcdt55b
rcdt55b on November 18, 2015 at 3:32 pm

Not only did she use the front wall, but she used the sides also. It took 27 digital projectors to do it. It was a good show.

NYer
NYer on November 18, 2015 at 3:23 pm

Adele appeared last night. She used the whole front wall as a screen and it was amazing. I’ve been going to RCMH all my life and this was the first time I’ve any show do this.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xdeccw34x3I

markp
markp on November 13, 2015 at 5:34 am

rcdt55b, yes you described what I was seeing perfectly. Thats exactly what I said to the folks I was with, that it looked like 3 sections. Every time I leave, I always look up to the booth and always wish, although I know never possible, what it would be like to see the booth. My projection career of 38 years ended 2 years ago when digital took over. Now Im just a stagehand. Have a good show run.

rcdt55b
rcdt55b on November 12, 2015 at 7:50 pm

We did go back to linear 3D gels this year which is better than last year’s circular 3D gels because of less double image. This isn’t the reason for what you saw though. There are 2 vertical braces behind the screen which are right up against the screen itself. Each one is a third of the way in from each side. Because the screen is so big, there is some slack in it. When the house fans are turned on, the screen is blown back onto these braces. On bright scenes, the braces are very visible while watching from the front. The second problem is the silver screen. It is extremely reflective. So because the screen isn’t sitting perfectly flat now, it looks like 3 sections of different brightness. We complained enough over the last few years about the braces that they finally removed the diagonal ones so it wasn’t as noticeable.

BTW, that screen is not the new one. It’s the same one we have used for the Christmas show for the last 4 years. The new picture sheet, which is also a silver screen for some reason, is only used for movies.

markp
markp on November 12, 2015 at 6:28 pm

Saw the Christmas show tonight at 530pm. Awesome as usual. But its funny, even on the new screen, which was huge and awesome, from my seat JJ505 off aisle E, the image looked like 3 varying shades of brightness. Im wondering if its the 3D glasses causing me to see this???

vindanpar
vindanpar on November 8, 2015 at 11:05 am

I believe the Music Hall opened with 46. With that false proscenium they can make the stage shows smaller without it being noticeable.

The ballet company and orchestra were huge as well as one can see in photos from the early 30s.

In the 70s after they cut the ballet troupe the Rockettes were cut down to 30. Though there was no false proscenium the curtain opening got narrower and the girls were a bit more spaced out. Also the orchestra members were also spaced out and they started to use a synthesizer to augment it.

JAlex
JAlex on November 5, 2015 at 8:29 am

Since the question was raised about the number of Rockettes, it may be of interest that when the troupe started, in 1925 at the Missouri Theatre in St. Louis as the Rockets, it numbered 16.

rcdt55b
rcdt55b on November 4, 2015 at 4:44 pm

I agree 100%. We still do use film from time to time also.

NewYorker64
NewYorker64 on November 4, 2015 at 4:35 pm

Thanks, rcdt. You know, I really do think there is an amazing amount of the past that lives today at Radio City Music Hall. Sure the digital age has necessitated some changes but one needs that to stay relevant (and follow the money to run the joint). When I walk into the building today, what I see in the general public spaces and the auditorium really do look remarkably as they did in the ‘80’s when I was working there and if someone really wants to push the limit of a production technically, all the capability (and crew) is still there.

rcdt55b
rcdt55b on November 4, 2015 at 4:26 pm

You are correct. 36.

NewYorker64
NewYorker64 on November 4, 2015 at 4:10 pm

I believe the standard for a Rockette-driven number is 36 for New York, and that has been for some time as it is the maximum that can fit within the proscenium of the RCMH. Road tours use 18 or 24, I believe. It’s multiples of six. Or, at least, that’s the story tour guides were fed!

hanksykes
hanksykes on November 4, 2015 at 2:07 pm

How many Rockettes now dance on stage in the Xmas show, is it only 24?????

ERD
ERD on November 1, 2015 at 11:35 am

While I no longer live in New York City, I am so glad that this theatre is still active and well maintained.

rcdt55b
rcdt55b on October 28, 2015 at 12:22 pm

They had no music at all before the shows which was strange. They will be used again for the Christmas show this year. They were actually working on one of them yesterday.