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 3,166 comments)

moviebuff82
moviebuff82 on May 17, 2017 at 3:45 pm

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/17/arts/television/jimmy-fallon-tonight-show-interview-trump.html?_r=0 check out the picture as Fallon is sitting on top of the marquee.

vindanpar
vindanpar on May 18, 2017 at 10:39 am

I had never heard about the Godfather being offered to the Hall. And as an Easter show?

That seems pretty strange especially considering the NY rollout that Evans devised for it in Loew’s One and Two and other NY theaters which was a major profit making innovation at the time.

The Easter show that Year was What’s Up Doc which was a perfect holiday G rated film and a huge popular success both at the Hall and across the country. And they were considering an R rated violent epic? Especially after it presented the camorra cement brick The Brotherhood?

The first non G rated holiday film was Mame in ‘74.

People say that a problem with the Hall was they wouldn’t show any quality R rated films(which they never did during the stageshow era.) That is total bunk. The Music Hall couldn’t get quality PG rated films. THAT was the problem. Exhibitors didn’t want the sky high overhead or the old-fashioned Hall itself. There were plenty of films at the time that should have played at the Hall but the studios didn’t want the Hall to have them. I would look at the ads thinking why isn’t Cabaret, That’s Entertainment, Murder on the Orient Express, The Way We Were…playing at the Hall? Because by then it was turning into an embarrassment. The stageshows were beyond dire. Cheap flimsy sets, hardly anyone on stage, the Rockettes reduced to 30, no ballet company, the great gold curtain opening getting smaller and smaller. And the Hall was playing one astonishing turkey after another. You would sit there in a complete stupor watching things like Hennessy or The Girl from Petrovka. Not only were you shocked the Music Hall was playing them you were shocked that anybody was making them.

And then in 1976 the Music Hall presents what certainly is keen competition for the worst film in cinema history-The Bluebird. Some people actually consider it the worst and I wouldn’t argue with them. You should have seen the tourists flooding into the foyer during the film. New Yorkers had thrown up their hands by that point and couldn’t be bothered.

And Play it Again Sam flopped at the Hall(I read somewhere Allen never wanted another film of his presented there. Same thing with George Roy Hill after Henry Orient. I wouldn’t count the revival of The Sting-which was a terrific presentation by the way.It probably never looked or sounded so good. It should have opened there. A perfect Music Hall film.) Then turned into a long run east side hit. That helped to seal the Music Hall’s fate.

StanMalone
StanMalone on May 30, 2017 at 1:24 pm

And don’t forget the comedy epic, Harry And Walter Go To New York. Actually I found that to be a pleasant enough movie just not of Radio City stature.

paul baar
paul baar on May 31, 2017 at 3:50 am

I saw Doris Day in"The Thrill of it All" 1963 Easter show,and"A boy named Charlie Brown" 1969 Christmas show.

moviebuff82
moviebuff82 on May 31, 2017 at 11:27 am

When did RKO sell the theater?

Comfortably Cool
Comfortably Cool on June 2, 2017 at 10:22 am

RKO never owned the Music Hall, so it had as much right to sell that theatre as it did the Brooklyn Bridge!

vindanpar
vindanpar on June 2, 2017 at 8:40 pm

I believe Thrill of It all was the big ‘63 summer movie.
The 3 Bs was the hit Easter show.

Charlie Brown was indeed the ‘69 Christmas movie and while I thought it was pretty bad compared to the TV specials of the 60s it had the best stage saw I saw there. Quite elaborate and spectacular with the finale showing the blast off and landing on the moon of Apollo 11 which had just occured that summer. Great special effects with no computer graphic cheating thank god. Wonderful ending with the stage rising with the image of the flag being planted on the moon with a large frame descending to freeze the image in time. The rest of the cast filled in the stage in front of it for the grand finale. I though all Music Hall stage shows were supposed to be like that. They weren’t.

vindanpar
vindanpar on June 15, 2017 at 4:44 am

Anybody know what happened to the beautiful 2 ton Cherry Blossom Doncho curtain that was given to the city of New York as a gift and was kept by the Music Hall to occasionally feature in their stage shows? I believe I saw it once in a stage show during the 70s.

moviebuff82
moviebuff82 on June 15, 2017 at 12:25 pm

The Tony Awards were held here this past Sunday and David Chapelle will host an event here…https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=9&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwikz_KGysDUAhXF7D4KHXYqDI4QqUMIRzAI&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cnn.com%2F2017%2F06%2F14%2Fentertainment%2Fdave-chappelle-live-radio-city%2Findex.html&usg=AFQjCNHsjLOl9W9eBfVLF6c3PB05ANI8sw&sig2=9dGrgxvg_6eNsRYWozu9ag

vindanpar
vindanpar on June 22, 2017 at 6:43 pm

Comfortably Cool posted the Up the Down Staircase ad from the summer of ‘67.

On the stage was one of the Music Hall’s spectacles unfortunately like all the rest lost forever called Court of Jewels. I had a Kodachrome slide of it once and it looked terrific.

By coincidence it is also the 50th anniversary of Balanchine’s great full length abstract ballet Jewels which is now being celebrated at the New York State Theater.

The summer of love certainly had rock on its mind.

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