Radio City Music Hall

1260 Avenue of the Americas,
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 3,433 comments)

MarkDHite
MarkDHite on May 24, 2014 at 5:10 pm

Just curious, does anyone know if the Music Hall was installed with movie projectors from the start? Or did they have to be added, and the booth windows rebuilt, after the variety format flopped? Thanks!

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on June 14, 2014 at 3:01 am

Since it opened on December 27, 1932 and screened its first film on January 11, 1933 (exactly two weeks and one day later) I am going to guess that movies were part of the plan from the beginning.

LuisV
LuisV on June 14, 2014 at 1:57 pm

I had the good fortune to attend the TONY awards this year and, in my opinion, the true unheralded star of the show was Radio City itself along with the staff that runs the theater and the show. That this theater could accommodate the high volume of different sets, hundreds of actors, very quick changes as well as a wandering full size orchestra and make it all look like a breeze is nothing short of astounding. Great Job to all and I really need to take a back stage tour of this treasure this year. Also, Congrats to “Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder” for winning best Musical. A great show and highly recommended.

Vito
Vito on June 14, 2014 at 2:17 pm

Yup Luis I shared the same thoughts watching the show.
I too loved “Gentleman’s guide” and plan on seeing it again. Let’s also give a big hurrah to Neil Patrick Harris for his outstanding performance and Tony win. only thing missing was seeing the grand curtain go up oh well not that I have not seen that quite a times in the good ole days. Live live RCMH may she prosper and live on

LuisV
LuisV on June 14, 2014 at 2:40 pm

I wish NPH had hosted again. I like Hugh very much but he can’t hold a candle to Neil. I too plan on seeing Gentleman’s Guide again. We bought the cast recording the next day and there are several beautiful songs and the lyrics are smart and witty. Great sets, costumes and very funny.

Vito
Vito on July 21, 2014 at 11:43 am

Watching a sportscast last night the guys were talking about how the Football draft will no be at RCMH next year cause there is a new show featuring the Rockettes in the works for that time spot. If this is true hopefully it does not fall thru as the last one did. Anyone heard anything about this?

LorinWeigard
LorinWeigard on September 10, 2014 at 10:56 pm

Still the grand palace to end all movie palaces—– remember every movie I ever saw there- from “The Spirit of St. Louis” to the special screening of Abel Gance’s “Napoleon” with live orchestra— the nation’s showplace beyond compare

Coate
Coate on September 24, 2014 at 8:17 pm

Walt Disney’s “Mary Poppins” premiered here 50 years ago today.

Radio City Music Hall was the second theater in the United States to open “Mary Poppins.” (It opened about a month earlier at Grauman’s Chinese in Los Angeles. Also, many sources, including the IMDb, continue to cite an incorrect Radio City/NYC opening date.)

For those who might have an interest, I’d also like to mention I have prepared a “Mary Poppins” 50th anniversary retrospective article for my film & TV history column at TheDigitalBits.com. The article includes a historian Q&A and a list of many of the film’s first-run engagements. The article is also linked on the Cinema Treasures home page in the News section.

NYer
NYer on September 25, 2014 at 12:07 am

Only shows you the movie industry is dead. Where is the showmanship. The movie is iconic and has been very very good to the Disney Company. Radio City is sitting empty and even ten years ago there would have been a celebration. Where is the two week 70MM roadshow engagement complete with Disney stage show, with big opening night with Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke? Shame on Disney.

RobertR
RobertR on September 29, 2014 at 3:08 pm

Nyer OMG you took the words out of my mouth. I said the same thing about GWTW 75th anniversary. Ho hoopla, no big celebration like for the 50th. I have been trying to find out if the showing yesterday was like the Wizard of Oz showings where all they did was project a DVD. The movie theatre business is DEAD and buried, any theatrical showings are just adertisement for the home DVD release.

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