(click to enlarge)

Happy Birthday, Radio City Music Hall!  On December 27, 1932, Radio City Music Hall opened its doors to the public!  Construction began on the project in 1930 on land leased by  John D. Rockefeller, Jr.  His original plan was to help gentrify the neighborhood (coined the “speakeasy belt”) by building a new Metropolitan Opera House but the idea was scratched after the stock market crash of 1929 and Rockefeller instead opted to create a complex of  buildings (Rockefeller Center) to attract commercial tenants.  Another plan that was changed was the name of the music hall Rockefeller decided to build in this complex.    Originally, the name was going to be the “International Music Hall” but was changed to “Radio City Music Hall” when the Radio Corporation of America became one of the complex’s first tenants.  Working on the project along with Rockefeller were Samuel Roxy Rothafel (of the Roxy Theatre/Rockettes) and RCA chairman David Sarnoff.

Some old photos from the 1930s:

Radio City Music Hall Inaugural Program, 1932


1930s- Radio City Music Hall, On 50th Street, looking West toward 6th Avenue


Radio City Music Hall, 1934


Radio City Music Hall, 1934

photo sources: photo 1 | photo 2 | photo 3 | photo 4 | photo 5

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