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The Three R's Who Changed New York City and Show Business


As the country continued to fall into a deep depression, Rockefeller began building an entire complex that expressed the highest ideas of architecture and design and offered the city hope. This complex became known as Rockefeller Center, consisting of 19 iconic commercial buildings.


One of those buildings is the largest indoor theater in the world. On December 27, 1932, Radio City Music Hall opened. Rockefeller partnered with Radio Corporation of America, a new company that packed a punch with their NBC radio programs and RKO motion pictures, and with S.L. "Roxy" Rothafel, a "theatrical genius." Rockefeller, RCA, and Roxy built a palace for the people, a theater with high-quality entertainment at affordable pricing. Radio City holds over 5,000 people and has a marquee that is a full city-block long.


Today, Radio City Music Hall is famed for the Rockettes and other shows. For many, it is a bucket list item, but when it first opened--no one cared about the shows; they cared about the incredible architecture and decor when it first opened.


One critic wrote, “The least important item in last evening’s event was the show itself...it has been said of the new Music Hall that it needs no performers; that its beauty and comforts alone are sufficient to gratify the greediest of playgoers.”

Read more about the decor of Radio City Music Hall.


Rockefeller succeeded in his goal by creating the Rockefeller center, completed by 1939. Rockefeller Center and Radio City Music Hall remain the epicenter of "old" New York City, music, Christmas, and romance. Radio City Music Hall alone has hosted over 3 million guests since opening.


If I could go back in time to a show at Radio City Music Hall, it would be a vaudeville show because to me, that represents the era and transition into modern show business—the beginnings of comedy and variety shows. I highly recommend visiting Radio City Music Hall even if you don't catch a show; as the critic said above, the beauty alone is sufficient!





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