Radio City Music Hall

1260 Avenue of the Americas,
New York, NY 10020

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rcdt55b on November 18, 2015 at 1:32 pm

Not only did she use the front wall, but she used the sides also. It took 27 digital projectors to do it. It was a good show.

NYer on November 18, 2015 at 1:23 pm

Adele appeared last night. She used the whole front wall as a screen and it was amazing. I’ve been going to RCMH all my life and this was the first time I’ve any show do this.

markp on November 13, 2015 at 3:34 am

rcdt55b, yes you described what I was seeing perfectly. Thats exactly what I said to the folks I was with, that it looked like 3 sections. Every time I leave, I always look up to the booth and always wish, although I know never possible, what it would be like to see the booth. My projection career of 38 years ended 2 years ago when digital took over. Now Im just a stagehand. Have a good show run.

rcdt55b on November 12, 2015 at 5:50 pm

We did go back to linear 3D gels this year which is better than last year’s circular 3D gels because of less double image. This isn’t the reason for what you saw though. There are 2 vertical braces behind the screen which are right up against the screen itself. Each one is a third of the way in from each side. Because the screen is so big, there is some slack in it. When the house fans are turned on, the screen is blown back onto these braces. On bright scenes, the braces are very visible while watching from the front. The second problem is the silver screen. It is extremely reflective. So because the screen isn’t sitting perfectly flat now, it looks like 3 sections of different brightness. We complained enough over the last few years about the braces that they finally removed the diagonal ones so it wasn’t as noticeable.

BTW, that screen is not the new one. It’s the same one we have used for the Christmas show for the last 4 years. The new picture sheet, which is also a silver screen for some reason, is only used for movies.

markp on November 12, 2015 at 4:28 pm

Saw the Christmas show tonight at 530pm. Awesome as usual. But its funny, even on the new screen, which was huge and awesome, from my seat JJ505 off aisle E, the image looked like 3 varying shades of brightness. Im wondering if its the 3D glasses causing me to see this???

vindanpar on November 8, 2015 at 9:05 am

I believe the Music Hall opened with 46. With that false proscenium they can make the stage shows smaller without it being noticeable.

The ballet company and orchestra were huge as well as one can see in photos from the early 30s.

In the 70s after they cut the ballet troupe the Rockettes were cut down to 30. Though there was no false proscenium the curtain opening got narrower and the girls were a bit more spaced out. Also the orchestra members were also spaced out and they started to use a synthesizer to augment it.

JAlex on November 5, 2015 at 6:29 am

Since the question was raised about the number of Rockettes, it may be of interest that when the troupe started, in 1925 at the Missouri Theatre in St. Louis as the Rockets, it numbered 16.

rcdt55b on November 4, 2015 at 2:44 pm

I agree 100%. We still do use film from time to time also.

NewYorker64 on November 4, 2015 at 2:35 pm

Thanks, rcdt. You know, I really do think there is an amazing amount of the past that lives today at Radio City Music Hall. Sure the digital age has necessitated some changes but one needs that to stay relevant (and follow the money to run the joint). When I walk into the building today, what I see in the general public spaces and the auditorium really do look remarkably as they did in the ‘80’s when I was working there and if someone really wants to push the limit of a production technically, all the capability (and crew) is still there.

rcdt55b on November 4, 2015 at 2:26 pm

You are correct. 36.

NewYorker64 on November 4, 2015 at 2:10 pm

I believe the standard for a Rockette-driven number is 36 for New York, and that has been for some time as it is the maximum that can fit within the proscenium of the RCMH. Road tours use 18 or 24, I believe. It’s multiples of six. Or, at least, that’s the story tour guides were fed!

hanksykes on November 4, 2015 at 12:07 pm

How many Rockettes now dance on stage in the Xmas show, is it only 24?????

ERD on November 1, 2015 at 9:35 am

While I no longer live in New York City, I am so glad that this theatre is still active and well maintained.

rcdt55b on October 28, 2015 at 9:22 am

They had no music at all before the shows which was strange. They will be used again for the Christmas show this year. They were actually working on one of them yesterday.

HenryABax on October 28, 2015 at 8:23 am

Was the Wurlitzer used before the screening of Back to the Future? Will it be used for the Christmas show?

rcdt55b on October 28, 2015 at 7:37 am

For the 30th anniversary of “Back to the Future”, they had 2 screenings 2 weeks ago. Thursday night and Friday night 8PM. Christopher Lloyd, James Tolkan, Alan Silvestri, and Bob Gale were at each screening.

We ran the dialogue track but the music track was cut and played live by the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra on stage. They seated the entire house except for the 400 section of the first Mezz. We had 2 Christie digital projectors there for the movie. It’s the first time we used the new house picture sheet since it was installed in April.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on October 27, 2015 at 10:10 am

rcdt55b, could you give some more detail about the Back to the Future screenings? I love events like that…

rcdt55b on October 27, 2015 at 9:35 am

The curtain operates as it always did. As for the other things you mentioned, maybe you should see the show first before commenting.

vindanpar on October 27, 2015 at 8:59 am

I read the curtain can no longer do the complex configurations Roxy designed it to do. Is this not the case? There are video screens and speakers I see in all the pictures. An ugly blight. The proscenium is for the Christmas and Spring shows and this is doing fine? These are the absolutely worst shows to have it for. This makes absolutely no sense to me but ok.

rcdt55b on October 27, 2015 at 3:50 am

Not sure why you think the hall is lost. The curtain works fine and in any configuration needed. The proscenium is specifically for the Christmas and Spring shows only. We ran Back to the Future last week on the newly installed house picture sheet to 2 very large audiences. I think the Hall is doing just fine.

vindanpar on October 27, 2015 at 3:04 am

How ironic that a few years ago they made such a big deal about restoring the Hall to its former glory when they fouled up the curtain so that it is no longer allowed to make its multiple configurations, they installed a false proscenium totally throwing of the sweeping sunrise arches and have large video screens and ugly speakers everywhere. I guess the Music Hall is lost for good. Just like New York.

markp on August 22, 2015 at 11:21 am

Thanks for telling us how you really feel George, LOL. But serioiusly, I have to agree with you. The hall is a beautiful place and these shows are turning it into a mockery.

GeorgeStrum on August 22, 2015 at 9:52 am

Having watched the live broadcasts from RCMH of America’s Got Talent programs I’ve been aghast and shocked how awful and ugly all that electronic equipment and lighting makes the auditorium look. I prefer the original simple look without all that extra added crap.

vindanpar on June 6, 2015 at 2:14 pm

Mike I only wish I had the photos I saw in a family encyclopedia I had as a boy which were under the heading of ballet. I believe you bought them volume by volume from the A and P.

Also the company Impact Photos I believe it was called had photos in one of the outside vetrines of the Music Hall of past stage shows(by the 70s this was far in the past)which were pretty impressive.

The most spectacular stage show I saw was the ‘69 Christmas show which started with The Nativity(very Catholic Renaissance unlike today’s more reformed Christian take)and ended with I kid you not the launch of Apollo 11 and its’ landing on the moon with a guy as Neil Armstrong coming out of the spacecraft and planting the American flag on the lunar surface. How they managed to tie this into a grand Christmas finale was ingenious. Such was the theatrical showmanship of the old days.

wolfgirl500 on June 6, 2015 at 10:46 am

Does anyone have any photos of the Andre Rieu concert at the Radio City Music Hall?