Radio City Music Hall

1260 6th Avenue,
New York, NY 10020

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Radio City Music Hall

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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 3,123 comments)

edblank on January 1, 2017 at 2:05 pm

“Rosemary’s Baby” received an “O” (morally offensive)rating from the National Catholic Officer of Motion Pictures, successor to the Legion of Decency. The “C” rating (condemned) had been discarded. Here’s the official explanation: “Modern-day horror story about a young husband (John Cassavetes) who turns his wife (Mia Farrow), body and soul, over to the next-door neighbors, a coven of witches (led by Ruth Gordon and Sidney Blackmer) so she can become the mother of Satan Incarnate. Directed by Roman Polanski, the production values are topnotch and performances completely chilling, but the movie’s inverted Christian elements denigrate religious beliefs. Brief nudity. (O) ® ( 1968 )

edblank on January 1, 2017 at 2:09 pm

“The Last Temptation of Christ” also received an “O” rating, with this explanation: “Deeply flawed screen adaptation of the Nikos Kazantzakis novel probing the mystery of the human nature of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, fails because of artistic inadequacy rather than anti-religious bias. Director Martin Scorsese’s wrong-headed insistence on gore and brutality, as well as a preoccupatiuon with sexual rather than spirtual love, is compounded by screenwriter Paul Schrader’s muddled script, shallow characterizations and flat dialogue delivered woodenly by William Dafoe in the title role. Excessively graphic violence, several sexually explicit scenes and some incidental nudity.” (O) ® ( 1988 )

The “pledge” taken in Catholic churches annually for many years was a generalized agreement not to support “indecent” entertainment. It did not carry specific penalties for Catholics.

edblank on January 2, 2017 at 8:29 am

The only one of those movies that was “C” (condemned) was “Never on Sunday.” “Psycho” and “Some Like It Hot” were “B.” “Spartacus” was A-3. Most of the “Carry On” films were A’s rather than B’s. Although I have the original ratings book, this information is readily available on the Internet. I did monitor it closely as a kid as the ratings came out every two weeks as I recall.

edblank on January 2, 2017 at 12:41 pm

Anyone can post anything on Wikipedia, which is why in the newspaper business we were never allowed to quote or take any unverified information from there. The misinformation quotient makes it unreliable.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on January 2, 2017 at 1:26 pm

The OP was about “FLYING DOWN TO RIO”. I took a quick look on IMDB and found a long thread on the many sexual double entendre comments in the film’s dialogue as well as a rather graphic see-through chorus line on an airplane wing.

edblank on January 2, 2017 at 4:48 pm

What is OP, Al?

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on January 2, 2017 at 4:53 pm

“Original Poster”. He was commenting on the ad in the photo section for “FLYING DOWN TO RIO” being a Christmas booking while condemned by the Legion of Decency.

edblank on January 2, 2017 at 5:14 pm

Al, “Flying Down to Rio” was rated A-3 several years ago. It was never rated before. Indeed, it was released three years before the Legion of Decency came into existence (1936).

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on January 2, 2017 at 6:03 pm

According to the ratings started in 1933 but were only available to Catholics who enquired at the time. According to the New York Times, the public postings of film ratings by the Catholic Legion of Decency started on December 16, 1934. (NYT, Dec 7, 1934). So, although it was not common knowledge, the film was already “Condemned” by the Legion when it showed at RCMH that Christmas, as it made their first “Condemned” listing in 1933.

vindanpar on January 4, 2017 at 1:59 am

Concerning EdBlanks comment it was why I said I found it on Wikipedia because I know of their unreliability. But just because it is on there it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s wrong either.

I also know that somebody like AlAlvarez knows how to find fairly arcane information concerning film distribution and can put the record straight.

I just hope the guy who booked a condemned rated film for a Christmas show wasn’t sacked. But then he was probably the same guy who booked the equally licentious and morally corrupting The Odd Couple 35 years later.

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