Radio City Music Hall opened to the public on this date in 1932 with a high-class variety show that had looked good in the planning, but which wound up being dwarfed by the venue – for most of the audience in the 6,000 seat hall that adjoined the new Rockefeller Center, the performers were at the wrong end of the telescope.
So almost immediately the Music Hall started showing first-run movies with a live show to follow and from the get-go both the Rockettes and the Mighty Wurlitzer were all the headliners needed. Both have outlasted the movies – only occasionally are films shown now.
Curiously, the Music Hall has kept its original name – which referred to all the NBC radio studios located throughout Rockefeller Center – although by now one would expect to see it called Vivendi Music Hall or Comcast Music Hall. Fortunately, some wiser head has prevailed.
Somewhere there may be a scholarly analysis of why we like things synchronized so much, but it must be in our DNA – the popularity of the Rockettes is the evidence. In case you missed this year’s Christmas Show, here they are – I tried to count them, but lost track; you may have better luck: