Though it was a period of gloom after the 1929 stock market crash, John D. Rockefeller decided to turn the “Speakeasy belt” in midtown Manhattan (on which he held the lease), into a complex of buildings which had superlative design and facilities. He partnered with Radio Corporation of America, a young media company and S.L. Rothafel (Roxy) who was a theatrical genius. The first completed project within the complex was called Radio City. It was essentially meant as a “Palace” for the public where everybody could go for high-quality shows at affordable rates. The interiors were beautifully and tastefully done by Donald Deskey.
The Radio City Music Hall has held numerous movies, shows, concerts and other events. The Hall itself is huge – known to be the largest indoor theatre in the world. It also has the largest stage curtain! The shows are equally grandiose and large scale. Though it is so huge, the construction is such that there are no columns inside to obstruct views and it has three shallow mezzanines which does not loom over the rear orchestra section below. It is one of the best equipped stage built with special effects like rain, fog, clouds, snow etc. being made possible by the original mechanisms even today. The sound of the “Mighty Wurlitzer” organ is awe inspiring. This organ was built especially for the theatre and is housed in eleven rooms. The sound affects are wonderful.
The most famous of the shows is the Christmas Spectacular featuring the Rockettes. The Rockettes is a precision dance company based at Radio City. They have been performing here every Christmas season since 1932. Though the group was started by Russell Markert in 1925, it was “Roxy” Rothafel who brought them to New York. They were initially known as The Roxyettes and performed at Rothafel’s Roxy Theatre. They were moved to the Music Hall in December 1932 and there has been no looking back.
The address: Radio City Music hall
1260 Avenue of the Americas (6th Av. & 50th)
New York – 10020
How to get to Radio City Music Hall
Best option would be to take the Subway. Depending on from where you are taking the Subway, the Hall is walking distance from the following stations –
1) 47th-50th St. Rockefeller Station – Trains B,D,F,V.
2) 49TH ST. – Trains N,R,W.
3) 50TH ST. – Train 1.
4) 5th Ave. 53rd St. – Trains E,V. (A little longer walk from here)
Radio City Music Hall Tickets for events can be obtained from –
1) Radio City Box Office located at the above mentioned address (Open from 11:30 A.M. to 6 P.M.)
2) www.Ticketmaster.com (phone (212)307-7171)
Radio City Music Hall Seating Chart (Orchestra and three levels of mezzanine)-
Click to enlarge.