Radio City Music Hall | NY Attractions
Radio City Music Hall is an entertainment venue located in New York City's Rockefeller Center. Its nickname is the Showplace of the Nation, and it was for a time the leading tourist destination in the city. Its interior was declared a city landmark in 1978.
The 12-acre NYC Activity complex in midtown Manhattan known as Rockefeller Center was developed between 1929 and 1940 by John D. Rockefeller, Jr., on land leased from Columbia University. The Radio City Music Hall was designed by architect Edward Durell Stone and interior designer Donald Deskey in the Art Deco style.
Its originally planned name was International Music Hall. The names "Radio City" and "Radio City Music Hall" derive from one of the complex's first tenants, the Radio Corporation of America. Radio City Music Hall was a project of Rockefeller; Samuel Roxy Rothafel, who previously opened the Roxy Theatre in 1927; and RCA chairman David Sarnoff.
RCA had developed numerous studios for NBC at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, just to the south of the Music Hall, and the radio-TV complex that lent the Music Hall its name is still known as the NBC Radio City Studios.
The Radio City Music Hall opened to the public on December 27, 1932 with a lavish stage show featuring Ray Bolger and Martha Graham. The opening was meant to be a return to high-class variety entertainment. The new format was not a success.
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Radio City Music Hall has 5,931 seats for spectators, and additional seating can be placed on the pit elevator during events that do not require that space bringing the seating capacity to over 6,000; it became the largest Movie Theater in the world at the time of its opening.
The Radio City Christmas Spectacular is an annual holiday stage musical produced by MSG Entertainment, which operates the Music Hall. A New York Christmas tradition since 1933, it features the women's precision dance team known as The Rockettes.
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