Radio City Music Hall

1260 Avenue of the Americas,
New York, NY 10020

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rcdt55b
rcdt55b on November 4, 2013 at 11:55 am

That was a great response David. Also, this just in……..we will be running a “trailer” at the beginning of every show for the spring show……

DavidM
DavidM on November 2, 2013 at 11:51 am

rcdt55b, I agree with your assessment about “Snow”. It may be impossible to liven that number, short of having the skaters get married in Central Park. It could be made timelier if it was a same-sex marriage. That said, I have a go-to mantra during the slow sections of the show. I meditate, breathe and keep repeating, “The Hall could have been a parking lot.” I can’t wait to see the spring show.

rcdt55b
rcdt55b on November 2, 2013 at 10:49 am

“Snow” is putting me to sleep. Some spring show testing going on as well.

moviebuff82
moviebuff82 on October 23, 2013 at 12:36 pm

rcmh was the subject of a jeopardy answer last night in a category devoted to abbreviations.

Vito
Vito on October 23, 2013 at 9:05 am

Mark and redt55b thanks for that update sure glad to hear 70mm film is staying for the 3D.

DavidM
DavidM on October 23, 2013 at 7:38 am

I’m glad “Let Christmas Shine” is out. I kind of felt sorry for the six, count ‘em, six singers on the Choral Staircases. They looked so lonely. I hope its replaced with a good, old-fashioned Rockette tap number. And who is going to make the sophomoric joke about Radio City having “balls”? Oh, that would be me.

rcdt55b
rcdt55b on October 23, 2013 at 7:08 am

The “shine” number is gone. Snow scene was added. There will be large snowflake “balls” flying around the house…(this is a lawsuit waiting to happen)…..Some new content added to the digital projectors. 3D film staying the same and on film (as it should be).

markp
markp on October 22, 2013 at 8:49 am

Vito, my wife is going to a meeting tom'w for all the wardrobe dresses. She heard thru the grapevine there might be some new numbers, but I don’t know if this will affect the booth.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on October 21, 2013 at 12:42 pm

And all those people in the 1940’s going into the theater in the middle of the show, and staying until they got to the part where they would say “this is where we came in…!

moviebuff82
moviebuff82 on October 21, 2013 at 12:13 pm

The only lines i can recall that are the longest are those for the xmas spectacular, the easter show, and celebrity jeopardy. Even sold out concerts by big name artists can have long lines as well as the annual nfl draft.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on October 21, 2013 at 11:57 am

I remember, when I was a kid, those lines used to zig-zag along a cordoned off path in the plaza between 51st and 50th Street, like the queue for a popular theme park ride. I’m pretty sure it fed from the plaza directly onto 50th Street and then up to the main box office. I suppose that helped contain the line as much as possible from having to use precious cross street sidewalk space. Of course, the crowds were no where near as large in the ‘70’s as they probably were during the Hall’s height as a cinema.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on October 21, 2013 at 10:22 am

“The Bells of St. Mary’s” is the movie Al Pacino and Diane Keaton went to Radio City to see in “The Godfather”. I’m trying to imagine Michael and Kay waiting on that impossibly long line.

Vito
Vito on October 21, 2013 at 8:03 am

What is the news about this years Christmas show will there be any changes? How will the booth be used

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on October 21, 2013 at 7:50 am

Some of the longest outdoor waiting lines in RCMH’s history were for the 1945 Christmas Show, with the Crosby-Bergman “Bells of St. Mary’s” on screen. By mid-afternoon, new arrivals often found the end of the waiting line close to Fifth Avenue, on the NORTH side of West 51st Street! The line then moved west towards Sixth Avenue, crossed to the south side of 51st Street, and then continued east again as far as Rockefeller Plaza, where it continued south until 50th Street, when it turned west for its final descent to the box office entrance at Sixth Avenue…I’m posting an image in the Photos Section which shows a portion of one of those lines. Except possibly with a helicopter, I doubt if it would have been able to photograph an entire line due to intervening skyscrapers.

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on October 18, 2013 at 11:21 am

Marilyn Monroe’s first and only film to open at RCMH was “The Prince and the Showgirl,” which had its world premiere there on June 13th, 1957. I’ve posted two images in the Photos Section.

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on October 4, 2013 at 8:23 am

More details on the 90-minute stage spectacular “Heart and Lights,” starring the Rockettes, have become available. The show will open officially next April 3rd, with previews starting March 27th. Here’s a link: Heartandlights

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on October 4, 2013 at 8:16 am

In the Photos Section, I’ve posted an ad for the world premiere engagement of William Wyler’s B&W “Roman Holiday,” which opened on August 27th, 1953. After seeing her very first Hollywood film open at the “Showplace of the Nation,” Audrey Hepburn went on to win the 1953 “Best Actress” Academy Award for her performance.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on September 26, 2013 at 5:15 am

Ray Dolby was included in the In Memorium section of this year’s Emmy awards show.

Vito
Vito on September 26, 2013 at 4:15 am

May I assume that now that those TV people have left the presidium has now been returned to original glory and all the work been completed on the removal of that desecration.? Yes I know a lot of folks thought it looked great for a national audience but I say humbug, if you want that go to Vegas and stop messing with the great stage.

Vito
Vito on September 21, 2013 at 2:14 am

Rob, Thanks for the heartwarming Ray Dolby tribute, he changed and greatly enhanced the way we hear recorded sound. During the sixties and most of the seventies 35mm sound had for the most part gone mono optical a full decade and a half of almost nonexistent stereo sound in the theatres. Then came Dolby and a breath of fresh air had been pumped into the theatres again, finally stereo sound was back bigger and better than ever. It also, thanks in many ways to George Lucas, revitalized 70mm which had all but disappeared. Yup movie sound had gotten pretty dull there for quite a while but Mr. Dolby forever changed that what a joy it has to be to have known both Ray and Ioan Allen both of whom brilliantly improved recorded sound.

I am glad you mentioned the confusion caused by magnetic prints being sent to theatres that could not play them, another great innovation in those times was of course mag/optical prints which to some degree solved that problem. I say some degree cause there was still the issue with one of the mag tracks overlapping slightly onto the optical track area but we lived with that

RobertEndres
RobertEndres on September 20, 2013 at 12:37 pm

Thanks Vito. I always enjoy reading yours as well. The topic of Dolby at Radio City is of special interest to me. As a matter of “full disclosure” I should mention that when I left Radio City it was to go to work for Dolby Laboratories in their first New York screening room where I still put in a 40 hour week. In a sense I’ve been involved with Dolby in one way or another for about 40 years now, so I remember all of the years Vito refers to vividly. (Actually, longer than that, since as student working for my University TV station, I got a chance to run the Ampex 1000 videotape machine which was given to educational stations as a way to distribute programming before satellites were available. It was the first succesful broadcast videotape recorder, and one of the engineers who designed it was a young man named Ray Dolby.)

I met Ioan Allen (who really got Dolby involved in cinema) on his first trip to New York to promote Dolby technolgy to dealer technicians from the Eastern half of the country in 1974. Later two of the projectionists who were on the crew at Radio City became Dolby employees, one as a Vice President and the other as a head techncian in the Dolby NY office. Through them I met Ray Dolby, and gave him and his son tours of Radio City.

That is the reason I’m posting this. There was only one company in the country that I would leave my “dream job” at Radio City for and it was Dolby. Ray Dolby’s death last week really saddened us all. He was a quiet, self-effacing man who accomplished something even 20th Century Fox couldn’t achieve with their 4-track magnetic CinemaScope stereo — he made movie stereo a practical technology for theatres everywhere. Vito mentioned the problem of dual inventory optical prints when Dolby started, but that was nothing compared to the problems that arose from having mag track prints sent to theatres which couldn’t play them and optical prints sent to theatres that had full stereo capability. Ray and Ioan came up with a track that could be played on any optical reproducer. It might not sound as good running as undecoded Dolby A noise reduction — but it would play. In addition, by employing the stereo matrrix it was possible to achieve a pretty good stereo surround experience from the two optical mono tracks used in the RCA 35mm system. Once you did that, you also had the capability to have a left, center, right, surround experience from any two track stereo source which could include VHS tapes, laserdiscs and broadcast TV. It was inevitable that movie sound would go multi-channel someday, but Dolby’s contribution brought the revolution about earlier than anyone else could.

I think working here during Ray’s involvement with the company can only be compared to working for Disney when Walt was alive. I can remember sitting in a staff meeting in our screening room when we heard a quiet, “May I come in?” It was Ray who had come in unannounced, and then enchanted us all with stories about the early days of the company.

I hope you’ll forgive me for rambling on, but I did want a great man — and nice guy — remembered on this site.

Vito
Vito on September 20, 2013 at 11:30 am

Thanks Bill I appreciate that, sometimes I worry that my posts are too boring or long in the tooth. In the days when I still attended union meetings I would enjoy entertaining the youngins with stories about the good ole days of projection, or at least I hope they were entertained. As to REndres I cannot compare my humble posts to the magnificent ones he provides which are always interesting and technically educational. In spite of all my years in the business I still managed to learn something new reading Robs posts.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on September 20, 2013 at 8:29 am

A post from Vito or RobEndres can never be too long. Great to hear from you both again!

Vito
Vito on September 20, 2013 at 8:19 am

Correction, Please substitute the word Photocell with Solar Cell in my post. PHOTOCELL!!! my goodness now that’s really showing my age.

NewYorker64
NewYorker64 on September 20, 2013 at 8:00 am

Thanks for the clarification, RobertEndres!