Radio City Music Hall – Must See Tourist Attractions in New York City
Radio City Music Hall, one of the Top Attractions in NYC, New York, USA
Radio City Music Hall
The Radio City Music Hall
The Radio City Music Hall was completed in December, 1932. At the time it was the largest and most opulent theater in the world. Its original name was the International Music Hall but was changed to reflect the new techonology of the time – radio. One of the complex’s first and most important tenants was the Radio Corporation of America, hence the other name the Center itself was dubbed was “Radio City”.
The Music Hall was planned by a consortium of three architectural firms, who employed Edward Durrell Stone to design the exterior. The interior design was given to the expert of the then European Modernist style and the expression of a new American aesthetic, Donald Deskey, through the direction of Abby Rockefeller. He believed the space would best be served by sculptures and wall paintings and commissioned various artists for the elaborate and now showpiece work. The theater seated 6,000 people and after an initial slow start became the single biggest tourist destination in the city. Its interior was declared a New York City landmark in 1978.
Radio City Events
Radio City Christmas Spectacular
09 November – 30 December 2007
Cost: US $40-US $250
Radio City Music Hall
A spectacular show at the dazzling 1930s art deco landmark Radio City Music Hall, this music and dance revue has been going strong since 1933, making it staple Christmas fodder along with The Nutcracker, the turkey and the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree. It’s kitsch, gaudy, festive and America’s most popular show.
The Great Stage, measuring 66.5 feet (20 m) deep and 144 feet (44 m) wide, resembles a setting sun. Its system of elevators was so advanced that the U.S. Navy incorporated identical hydraulics in constructing World War II aircraft carriers. According to Radio City lore, during the war, government agents guarded the basement to assure the Navy’s technological advantage.
The Music Hall’s Mighty Wurlitzer pipe organ is the largest theater pipe organ built for a movie theater. Twin identical consoles flank both sides of the Great Stage, 144 feet apart. As it was installed in 1932, the instrument, the largest produced by the Rudolph Wurlitzer Manufacturing Company of North Tonawanda, New York, was not built to accompany silent movies, but rather to be a concert instrument, capable of playing many styles of music, including classical organ literature. Its 4,410 pipes are installed in chambers on either side of the proscenium’s arch. A restoration of the historic organ was undertaken that was completed in time for the theater’s restoration in 1999. A smaller Wurlitzer organ was installed in the theater’s radio studios, but was put into storage when the studio was converted into office space.
The theater is also home to the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, a New York Christmas tradition since 1933, and to the women’s precision dance team known as The Rockettes. The theater, which is managed by Cablevision, is also used for a variety of concerts and special events.
The Music Hall is the regular home of the Daytime Emmy Award ceremony (though the 2006 show were held in Los Angeles) and the Tony Awards, is the frequent site of the annual MTV Video Music Awards (although the ceremony has occasionally been held since the 1990s in Los Angeles and Miami), and has often been the venue for the Grammy Awards on years when New York has won the bid to host the show, although Madison Square Garden, owned by Cablevision, hosted the Grammys in 2003 while the Staples Center in Los Angeles most recently hosted the awards in 2007. In addition, Radio City Music Hall is also the regular home of commencement ceremonies for Hunter College and Pace University’s New York City campus. The Great Stage has been home for the NFL Draft in 2006 and will again host the activities in 2007.
On January 15, 2000, Radio City Music Hall played host to its first ever sports event, a boxing card that featured undisputed light heavyweight champion Roy Jones, Jr. defeating David Telesco in the main event, and in the co-feature heavyweight David Izon defeating Derrick Jefferson.
The New York Liberty played some of their 2004 home games at Radio City while Madison Square Garden was renovated for the Republican National Convention.
Radio City Music Hall. 1260 Avenue of the Americas New York, NY 10036
M1, M2, M3, M4, M5, M6, M7, M27, M50
Rockefeller Center Tours:
Daily – 1 January to 31 December, 2007
Monday to Saturday: 10:00am – 5:00pm (depart every 60 minutes)
Sunday: 10:00am – 4:00pm (depart every 60 minutes)
The Rockefeller Center: home to NBC, Radio City Music Hall, Christie’s Auction House, and more! The Rockefeller Center Tour gives you a close-up inspection of these and many other exciting places of interest, including the world-famous skating rink visited by more than half a million people every year!
NBC Studio Tours:
Departure Dates: Daily – 1 January to 31 December, 2007
Departure Time: Monday to Thursday: 8:30am – 5:30pm (depart every 30 minutes)
Friday and Saturday: 8:30am – 5:30pm (depart every 15 minutes)
Sunday: 9:30am – 4:30pm (depart every 15 minutes)
Come and take the NBC Studio Tour for your opportunity to visit the studios where some of your favorite television shows are filmed, such as Saturday Night Live. Along the way, learn some facts about the interesting history of NBC, including the story of it’s transition from radio into television.