Radio City Music Hall

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Radio City Music Hall: More About This Huge Hall’s History

August 19, 2019

By: Miranda Roberts

While Radio City Music Hall is a household name, you might be surprised by some of the building’s history. 

Midtown Manhattan used to be chalked full of speakeasies. In an effort to class up the area, plans to build an Opera House were developed. The stock market crash of 1923 left the plans as — well, plans.

Despite the struggling economy, John D. Rockefeller, Jr. took a risk and decided to build both the Rockefeller Center and Radio City Music Hall in the now unaccounted for lot. The name came from one of the first tenants, the Radio Corporation of America.

The music hall was supposed to be a “palace for the people.” Rockefeller’s vision, was made a reality in 1932, just three years after the stock market crash.

The theater was successful until around 1970, a time when other theaters, such as the Paramount and the Roxy, were closing. While it outlasted its competitors, by 1978 Radio City was bankrupt and contemplating other options. This iconic theater could have been a tennis court, an aquarium, or even the American Stock Exchange.

Luckily, a committee to Save Radio City Music Hall was established and it was declared a New York City Landmark. This led to renovations that made the theater what it is today.

Today, more than 300 million people have come to the see the hall’s old New York charm. Whether they were there to see Pink Floyd, The Grateful Dead, David Bowie, Death Cab for Cutie, or even just a tour - the building has become larger than life.

See Also:

Behind The Bowery: Big History Behind a Small NY Venue

Kings Theatre: Explore a Venue With Nearly 100 Years of History

Remembering NYC's Iconic (Now Closed) Music Venues: CBGB, Roseland, Limelight & More

Radio City Music Hall is the largest indoor theatre in the world. It holds 5,960 audience seats and its marquee is an entire city-block long.

Check our concert calendar for upcoming New York and New Jersey shows. Of Monsters And Men, Massive Attack, Maggie Rogers, Incubus, and AJR will be rocking the Radio City stage soon, you don’t want to miss it!

Radio City Music Hall is located at 1260 6th Ave, New York, NY 10020. 

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