Radio City Music Hall

1260 6th Avenue,
New York, NY 10020

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Radio City Music Hall

Viewing: Photo | Street View

One of the greatest Art Deco style structures ever built, Radio City Music Hall is one of the most well known landmarks of New York City. Opened on December 27, 1932, with a variety show, it screened its first film Barbara Stanwyck in “The Bitter Tea of General Yen” on January 11, 1933. The proscenium is 100 feet wide, the stage 66 feet deep. It was equipped with a Wurlitzer organ, which has twin 4 manual consoles and 58 ranks. The organ was opened by organists Dick Leibert and Dr. C.A.J. Parmentier.

Showing a mixture of movies and stage shows in the program for 45 years, the format was ended on April 25, 1979 with Kathleen Quinlan in “The Promise”. Thereafter the programming changed to concerts, stage shows and special events.

Reborn after a $70 million renovation in 1999, Radio City has been restored to all of its original opulence.

Recent comments (view all 3,193 comments)

Comfortably Cool
Comfortably Cool on February 3, 2018 at 8:19 am

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

moviebuff82 on February 3, 2018 at 10:02 am

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

vindanpar on February 10, 2018 at 2:53 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?

NYer on February 10, 2018 at 7:31 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.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on February 11, 2018 at 7:38 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…

vindanpar on February 21, 2018 at 5:12 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.

michaelkaplan on February 21, 2018 at 9:55 am

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.)

Jay Franklin Mould
Jay Franklin Mould on February 21, 2018 at 10:24 am

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.

vindanpar on February 21, 2018 at 3:19 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.

curmudgeon on February 22, 2018 at 11:54 pm

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

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