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Hey rexb.. can you please get in touch with me?
Would very much like to speak to your aunt and also have some info that may interest her.
Here are two site I found:
and here is one on theater organs – not specifically just for detroit
Thanks TC for sharing all these images! I have a few taken in the 50’s but the add a photo on this site does not work :(
Site that lists some of the dancers, articles written about and other info about the Rockettes:
This may have been posted before
There is an article and full page picture in Invention & Technology Winter 1992 entitled “A Tremendous Lift”.. about Radio City, the elevators etc.
Daily News Tuesday Feb 2, 1954 Page 39 under Amusements:
Minsky’s The Greatest Name in Burlesque
MARA GAYE “The Lady of Fashion"
LOTUS DUBOIS Parisian Un-Cover Girl
Continuous from 11 am
1 Block from
Broad & Market Sts
found these ads in mom’s (Mara’s) scrapbook :)
Found this page as well:
Schedule for the Music Hall
Saturday Oct 2, 1937
Feature: Lost Horizon
Shows a Chart with headings: Numbers, Length, 1st thru 6th
Organ (Length) 5,
Silly Symphony & Trailer (Length) 10,
Overture the Bolt (Length) 8,
Stage Show (Length) 19
Feature (Length) 117
Midnight Show: Cartoon
followed by chart for Sun Oct 3, 1937
and Mon to Wed Oct 4,5,6, 1937
Not sure if these are rare or not however we have a couple Radio City Music Hall Bulletins from 1937, 1938 and 1939
“Published Fortnightly By and For the Employees”
A one page article entitled “I Got My Kicks at Radio City” by Grace Case, San Diego, CA
“Performing with the Rockettes in 1935 might have looked glamorous, but it was tough work"
The article appears in "Reminisce Extra” December 1996.
I am told it is a pretty accurate portrayal of the times.
Just came across this in moms Rockette collection: 8x10 photo and original press note for it that might interest some of you:
Associated Press Photo from New York City
“Chorines Help Load Scrap
Chorus girls snappily load scrap onto a truck at one of the theatres in Radio City in New York Oct 14. About 30,000 pounds of scrap metal were collected at the Theatre.
Associated Press Photo 10/14/42
The b&w photo is of the Rockettes handing items to a truck parked outside as a few onlookers stand on sidewalk watching.
Yes it was burlesque and vaudeville. We have approx 100 or so original programs from that era from this theatre which date late 1940’s – early 1950’s
Sam Cohen, Manager
New York Avenue and 38th Street, Union City, N.J.
Box Office Phone UNion 3-9772”
The acts are numerous as a who’s who in burlesque and vaudeville: Mara Gaye (our mom), Peaches, Georgia Sothern, Lou Ascol, Rose La Rose, Bert Carr, Lou Ascol, Dick Richards etc.
Also have a pic of the theatre we believe taken in the 1950’s?
Good Memory Annie.. better than mine! Thanks for posting it!
Ken F… I sent the photo to the email on this site and I realize the photo section is closed but I did it anyway. (hmmm.. it is possible too that it could be the candy stand of the Community as opposed to the Queens).. but had to be either of the two that’s for sure.
I attended P.S. 34.
Ken F.. I have forgotten a lot of names. I can picture so well the doorman with a black mustache… and the tickets sales lady.. who was a fixture there for years. They would not let us youngins do the ticket sales.. altho at one point they let me after I got “bonded”.
I already sent one photo to this site email that I found so far. A pic of my friend Lynn, a candy girl, behind the inside candy stand circa early 1970’s.
I have also since located a very old friend of mine Annie from my Queens Village days and she pointed me to this QV MSN group. Besides those who lived in QV many years ago it also contains photos of very early QV.
I think you can view the pix without joining. I am going to point that group to this site. Surely there are others out there with some great photos!
I will continue searching for more photos.
Just came across some old wooden hangers with names:
Radio City Music Hall Taylor Shop
Roxy Clothes Stores in Principal Clothes
can anyone shed some light on these?
(father-in-law was violinist in orchestra pit during opening followed by many years at RCMH)
BoxOfficeBill – we have some pix of that along with an autographed Paris Expo Certificate as they won! wish I could upload them here
Radio City Music Hall Bulletin
Published Fortnightly By and For the Employees
Vol. III Wednesday, Nov. 1, 1939 No. 30
One day recently – and it was not a Friday, when the usual Music Hall executive luncheon is held up on the Studio Floor – one Music Hall-ite had a real surprise. Informed that he had an engagement with a certain film company executive, this ranking member of the theater’s legion was ushered into our domed dining room to the chorus of a “Happy BIrthday to You” by more than a dozen Music Hall departmental heads.
The recipient of this impromptu party was, in case you haven’t already guessed, our own Mr. Van. And the only person not present-that certain film executive with whom he had been told he was to lunch.
Needless to say, all of us at the theater join with the round table group in wishing our Managing Director many, many happy Music Hall years.
Other headings (followed by text) in this bulletin include:
Spotlight and Sidelights by S. J. Brody
News Notes and Comment
Service Staff Stuff by the Chief Usher
From the library
THe Glee Clubroom
Projection Room Murmurs
want to read more?
Don’t know the interest of the readers here but we do have a few of these old employee Bulletins.
Thought I would share this letter with you that was sent to my father in law who was one of the very early violinists in the pit of the RCMH and was with them for many years to follow:
Rockefeller Center Inc
50 Rockefeller Plaza
May 28, 1940
When the final rivet in Rockefeller Center was driven last November, signalling the completion of steel construction, Father and I were disappointed that lack of space made it impossible for us to ask all our employees in the Center to be present at the ceremony. Because of this we want you to have as a souvenir of the occasion a book just published by the Columbia University Press.
We trust that the reading of this book will give you the same pride and inspiration that those of us who attended the ceremony received on that occasion.
Nelson A Rockefeller
Radio City Music Hall
1260 Sixth Ave
New York, N.Y.
The book is entitled “The Last Rivet"
The story of ROckefeller Center, a city within a city, as told at the ceremony in which John D. Rockefeller, Jr. drove the last rivet of the last building, November 1, 1939.
A little OT- a friend sent me an oz pic not too long ago of Dorothy and the 3 lollipop kids.. well the one lollipop kid, Jerry Maren, who handed Dorothy the lollipop was 17 when he did the movie and it is autographed ;) as my friend wrote to him to get it
Jerry went on to became littlest chef with the oscar meyer wienermobile and was Buster Brown of Buster Brown shoes…
p.s Ringo is expected to tour again next year so a visit to RCMH may again be in order. Obviously I am a fan!
My last trip to Radio City was to see Ringo Starr and the All Stars perform! Stood outside the side stage door to meet the artists. Took awhile but they came out eventually. Ringo & wife Barbara Bach (a Bond girl) had already dashed out super quickly at the end of the last song. Guess he didn’t have to wait for me or an elevator.
Greg W – don’t ask!
We had to inventory – count EVERYTHING..even the cups for soda.. and to my recollection the candy stayed in place and was locked by sliding doors.. I’ll have to locate my Queens Theater pix.. I have one of my ex (the usher) as well in his usher uniform plus my friend Lynn the candy girl behind the counter
A few times I even got to sell tickets in the front booth… had to be “bonded” for the job as well. and there was an older gentlemen who was the ticket taker whose name escapes me.
And as to the phantom,,, I heard him
I worked as a candy girl there 1970ish. Married the usher. (we divorced and he’s now deceased) Manager was Mr. Mendelsohn always smoked a huge cigar and very strict. Ushers had black jackets and white shirts and flashlights and showed patrons to their seats. WE…ummmm.. snuck into the ushers room a few times. Our dates also brought us to the balcony where we “made out”. (giggle) Huge long fire escape stairs. Popcorn came already popped in huge bags and huge plastic containers of all-ready melted imitation butter were used. The mice constantly ate into the bags of popcorn. Somewhere I have a pic of a friend behind that candy stand.
Stores nearby included Bohack supermarket, Woolworths (flat open cases -salesperson stood in the middle), and a place where you could get an egg cream soda.
According to a friend her parents vaudeville act The Parisian Four performed here along with Burnes & Allen.. they also did the circuits of Balabum & Katz and Pantages.. starting out in theatres approx 1918 (pre vaudeville) and continuing up to about 1940 in various venues
I am fairly new to this website but am loving reading it all! I was just on the phone with a woman whose parents were the theatre – followed by vaudeville – act called The Parisian Four from about 1918 -1940 and she mentioned they did the Pantages, Keith Orpheum Palace and Balabum & Katz circuits.. (forgive my spelling) so I am just passing this info along because this might be the Pantages CA she was referring to?
Why thank you!
There is a Rockette alumni site and I’ll ask if it can be posted here.I certainly don’t see why not since it is already out in cyberspace for the finding. I have forwarded this site to the alumni
and I’m sure many have stories to tell as well.
p.s. mom is still with us! but..sigh.. her memory has failed considerably. She told some stories but have been able to piece together much of her history from her archives and friends all within the past year.. and boy she kept everything it seems… good for us lovers of this history!
In honor of their 75th anniversay the Rockettes were all sent a small red square to customize (and I helped with hers). Then it was all sewn together and put on display. Unfortunately we never got to see it when it was on display but we have a photo of it (gosh it looks huge)..and I’m told it is now stored in the closet. BRING it out again please RCMH
you can also try asking here
(Piano Technicians Guild)
and see links for Organs here:
wow! this website is wonderful and I will pass it on the Rockette alumni for sure! Mom-in-Law was a Rockette 1937-1942 and Dad-in-Law a violinist in the pit right from the beginning.. even have a book sent to the employees from Roxy because he couldnt invite them all to the grande opening.. ahhh… sigh.. to have been a fly on the wall during that era!
As a kid, living in Queens, I grew up with Radio City – every year the Christmas and Easter shows.. past memories/visual include the lil puppet inch worm -for some odd reason. Rockette mom was paid $50 week! and such hard work, pre-union
She was in 1936 Movie as dancer The Devil On Horseback with Ann Miller, did the Mexican Hayride show, a show at the Samoa, The Clover Club, Miami, Billy Rose shows, etc.
Great website.. I’ll be back for sure!