Radio City Music Hall

Photo taken by D'Mitrius Rios

An American People’s Palace

Radio City Music Hall is an entertainment venue and theater at 1260 Sixth Avenue, also known as Avenue of the Americas, part of the Rockefeller Center complex and located in the Midtown neighborhood of New York City. It is also known for being the headquarters for the Rockettes, a dance company that was founded in 1925 in St. Louis, Missouri. The Rockettes have performed at the theater since 1932 and starred in the annual Radio City Christmas Spectacular since 1957. The Music Hall was designated as a New York City landmark in 1978, was restored, and allowed to remain open to the public.

The Showplace of the Nation

Radio City Music Hall was originally supposed to be a Metropolitan Opera House to gentrify the Midtown neighborhood but was canceled in 1929 due to the failing economy and the business outlook looking dim. Three years later, John D. Rockefeller Jr. decided to make a deal with RCA Corporation to develop a complex with two theaters, with the help of Samuel Roxy Rothafel joining the center’s advisory board. The theater was largely successful until the 1970s when declining patronage nearly drove the Music Hall to bankruptcy and was extensively renovated in 1999.

The Premiere Theater for Film Premieres

Radio City Music Hall opened in 1932 and was designed by Edward Durell Stone and Donald Deskey in the Art Deco style. It was initially intended to host stage shows, then converted into a movie palace and the site for several movie premieres. Today, it additionally now hosts concerts, stage shows and televised events, like the Tony Awards. It is the largest indoor theater in the world and its marquee is a full city-block long. The theater measures 160 feet from the back to the stage and the ceiling reaches a height of 84 feet. The walls and ceiling are formed by a series of sweeping arches that define an immersive curling space. There’s no place like seeing or staging a show at the Music Hall because everything about it is larger than life.