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Manhattan - Radio City Music Hall

A Brief History: Radio City Music Hall is located 1260 6th Avenue in Manhattan, NY on the corner of 6th Avenue and 50th Street. It was developed by John D. Rockefeller JR, in 1929, after the stock market crashed. John D Rockefeller JR, developed The Radio City Music Hall, along with Rockefeller Center on land leased by Columbia University. Also involved in developing the Radio City Music Hall were Samuel Roxy Rothafel and RCA Chairman, David Sarnoff. The Radio City Music hall was designed by architect, Edward Durell Stone and interior Designer, Donald Deskey. The theater‘s stage was designed and built by Peter Clark in 1932. John D Rockefeller, JR originally planned to make a new metropolitan opera house but his plans changed after the stock market crashed. He decided to make it a “palace for the people”, a theater where the general population could afford to go to. The theater was The Radio City Music Hall obtained its name from their original tenants, The Radio Corporation of America. The Radio City Music Hall had its opening debut on December 27th, 1932 featuring high class variety shows which were not a success due to their programs being very lengthy. In 1933, The Radio City Music Hall began showing movies, which included a stage show. On January 11th, 1933, Frank Capra’s “The Bitter Tea General Yen” was the first movie stage show to open at Radio City Music Hall. This combination of movies and stage shows went on up until 1979. In 1978, The Radio City Music Hall was declared a NYC landmark. In 1979, the Radio City Music Hall ceased showing movies regularly since Radio City Music Hall showed mainly G movies, which became less common. In 1979 Radio City Music Hall was closed for six months for renovations and reopened in 1980. In 1933, The Radio City Music Hall began a holiday tradition with the Rockettes and The Christmas Spectacular, which continues to run today for eight weeks during the holiday season. In 1994, the Christmas Spectacular and the Rockettes began traveling to various US cities to put on the show.

Famous people that have been seen at Radio Music Hall include Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Linda Ronstadt, Bill Cosby, Jimmy Stewart, Sammy Davis, Jr., Bette Midler, Stevie Wonder, Celine Dion, Tony Bennett, Billy Crystal, Barry Manilow, Liza Minnelli, Sting, 98 degrees.

Haunted History: The ghost of Samuel Roxy Rothafel has been seen on opening nights accompanied by a glamorous female companion.

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