Radio City Music Hall Opens
Radio City Music Hall opened to the public on December 27, 1932.
Located in New York City's Rockefeller Center, this fabulous Art Deco theater is home to the The Radio City Christmas Spectacular, a New York Christmas tradition since 1933, and to the women's precision dance team known as the "Rockettes."
Designed by Donald Desky, the interior of the theater incorporates glass, aluminum, chrome, and geometric ornamentation. Desky rejected the Rococo embellishment generally used for theaters at that time in favor of a contemporary Art Deco style.
The 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. The program was very long and individual acts were lost in the cavernous hall. On January 11, 1933, the Music Hall converted to the then familiar format of a feature film with a spectacular stage show which Rothafel had perfected at the Roxy Theatre. The first film was shown on the giant screen was Frank Capra's The Bitter Tea of General Yen starring Barbara Stanwyck and the Music Hall became the premiere showcase for films from the RKO-Radio Studio. The film plus stage spectacle format continued at the Music Hall until 1979 with four complete performances presented every day.