Andrew H. Walker, Getty Images Nine days after the deadly tornado that touched…
- Posted on Oct 12th 2009 5:58PM by Jon Chattman
Host to such music legends as Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis, Jr., worldwide premieres, special events, and annual traditions like its Christmas Spectacular featuring its infamous Rockette dancers, Radio City Music Hall is arguably the most famous venue in New York. It's also the largest indoor theatre in the world. Developed in 1929 and open four years later, the Manhattan hot spot on Rockefeller Plaza was conceived as an all-purpose entertainment "palace" by John D. Rockefeller with Samuel Roxy Rothafel and RCA. Aesthetically, Radio City Music Hall, which was designed by architect Edward Durrell Stone and Donald Desky in an art deco style, features a marquee outside that runs a block-long and a "Great Stage" inside resembling a shining sun.
For decades, Radio City Music Hall was a must destination for moviegoers -- bolstering world premieres and the world's largest movie screen -- but by the 1970s, it shifted its focus more toward live music and special events. A $70 million restoration in 1999 helped keep it in business, and overall, some 300 million patrons have seen a performance at the venue. All walks of pop life have performed there from Liberace to Ray LaMontagne. It's also been the site of various awards shows including the Grammy Awards, the MTV Video Music Awards, and the Tony Awards.
The Radio City Christmas Spectacular
Combined with the nearby ice skating rink and tree lighting ceremony, the Radio City Christmas Spectacular makes for a must-see destination during the holiday season. The venue's Christmas Spectacular has been a holiday tradition every year since 1933 -- generating over a million visitors during its eight-week show run. It features Santa Claus as the show's host and the Rockettes performing holiday fare like the old-time favorite "The Parade of the Wooden Soldiers." In 2007, in celebration of its 75th year, the Radio City Christmas Spectacular received a facelift with new musical numbers added and the presentation of a short 3D film to open the performance. Highlights from the Spectacular aired on NBC that year. The show has toured since 1994 across the United States. Tickets are available months in advance every year.
Radio City Music Hall Performance Videos
Notable Artists to Perform on Radio City Music Hall's "Great Stage"Frank Sinatra
The Count Basie Orchestra
Sammy Davis, Jr.
Notable Awards Shows Held at Radio City Music HallThe Grammy Awards
The Tony Awards
The MTV Video Music Awards
The Daytime Emmy Awards
The ESPY Awards
Notable Events Held at Radio City Music HallThe Republican National Convention -- 2004
The NFL Draft (Annually since 2006)
Hunter College Commencement
New York University Commencement
Pace University Commencement