Radio City Music Hall Opened to the Public in New
December 27, 1932
hear of the famous New York City precision dance team, the "Rockettes?"
New York's Radio City Music Hall is famous not only for great acts like
the Rockettes, but also for its fabulous Art Deco design. This stunning
theater opened its doors to the public on December 27, 1932. Starting in
1933, you could go there to see "The Radio City Christmas Spectacular,"
a New York Christmas tradition.
Now you can see a number of shows there or just go inside to
admire the design by Donald Desky. The interior incorporates
glass, aluminum, chrome, and geometric ornamentation for a
contemporary Art Deco look.
Looking up from the seats of the Radio City Music Hall, you see
before you the Great Stage, measuring 66 feet deep, 144 feet
wide, and resembling a setting sun. The stage's system of
elevators was so advanced that the U.S. Navy used identical
hydraulics in constructing World War II aircraft carriers.
According to Radio City lore, during the war government agents
guarded the basement to make sure no enemy spy could steal the
Navy's superior technology.
The Radio City Music Hall is part of Rockefeller Center, a
12-acre complex in midtown Manhattan developed between 1929 and
1940 by business tycoon John D. Rockefeller Jr. He leased the
land from Columbia University. Rockefeller initially planned an
opera house on the site, but changed his mind after the stock
market crash of 1929. One of the complex's first tenants was the
Radio Corporation of America (RCA), hence the names "Radio City"
and "Radio City Music Hall." If you're ever in New York, take in
a show or take a peek into the famous Radio City Music Hall.