Radio City Music Hall

Copyright ©2016 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

One of the iconic NYC buildings that I’ve always wanted to see is Radio City Music Hall.

We passed it while on the Big Bus Tour during the day, and it wasn’t as exciting as I had imagined, I knew it would look better at night.

We had tickets to see Wicked that night so, planning ahead I packed my tripod in order to stop on the way back after the play to take a photograph of Radio City Music Hall.

The NYU Arts & Science class of 2016 had their Baccalaureate Ceremony there earlier in the day. Everywhere you looked there were purple robes, and caps.  I didn’t get one good image of that though. 😦

Radio City Music Hall

It does look much better at night.

For the history buffs-

“Radio City Music Hall is an entertainment venue located in Rockefeller Center in New York City. Its nickname is the Showplace of the Nation, and it was for a time the leading tourist destination in the city. Its interior was declared a city landmark in 1978.

The Music Hall opened to the public on December 27, 1932 with a lavish stage show featuring Ray Bolger, Doc Rockwelland 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 perfected by Rothafel at the Roxy Theatre in New York City. The first film 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.

By the 1970s, changes in film distribution made it difficult for Radio City to secure exclusive bookings of many films; furthermore, the theater preferred to show only G-rated movies, which further limited their film choices as the decade wore on.[4] Regular film showings at Radio City ended in 1979. Plans were made to convert the theater into office space, but a combination of preservation and commercial interests (including an irate commentary on Saturday Night Lives Weekend Update given by John Belushi) resulted in the preservation of Radio City and in 1980, after a renovation, it reopened to the public.

Radio City Music Hall is currently leased to and managed by The Madison Square Garden Company[5] Movie premieres and feature runs have occasionally taken place there such as the Harry Potter film series, but the focus of the theater throughout the year is now on concerts and live stage shows. The Radio City Christmas Spectacular continues to be an important annual event (see below). The Music Hall has presented most of the leading pop and rock performers of the last 30 years, as well as televised events including the Grammy Awards, the Tony Awards, the Daytime Emmy Awards the MTV Video Music Awards, and the NFL Draft. Starting in 2013, however, the Tony Awards will be the only major televised awards ceremony at Radio City, as the Video Music Awards relocated permanently to the Barclays Center that year. (The Grammys which alternated between New York City and Hollywood, has been held since 2004 in Los Angeles, as have the Daytime Emmys, off and on, since 2006.)”~Wiki-pedia

I had no idea it had a nickname! I am curious to see what it looks like inside. Perhaps one day I’ll get that opportunity.

Nikon Df| Nikkor 28-105mm| Delkin Digital Film| Tripod

More to come…


33 thoughts on “Radio City Music Hall

  1. Thanks for the history lesson. We went by in daylight last year and couldn’t get in the door. Your night shot is beautiful: composition, timing, the starburst lights and the colourful neon.

    1. Thank you so much Joy for the comment! I imagine it’s art deco inside, with rich woods, and carpet, and glass bulbs lining the stage. But have no idea really. I hope to see it one day inside.

      1. I remember an incredible chandelier in the foyer and a very grand and gorgeous auditorium! We loved seeing inside (almost) as much as the show which was unforgettable.

  2. Wonderful image, Deborah! I like the cars that toe the line.

    Our planned trip to NY in October is now postponed to sometimes next year.

    1. Thank you so much Cobus! I’m sorry you have to postpone your trip though.
      On the bright side you’ll have more time to prepare, and plan what to see and do once there.

      Hope all is well with you and yours!

  3. I like the star effect on the lights – probably from using a small aperture opening. My mother often took us kids to see the Christmas Spectacular. On another note, Marilyn’s spent her early years growing up in NYC and actually got to go backstage and meet the Rockets!

    1. Thanks Cher Robert! Yes, I was using an Aperture of f/16 to get those star bursts.

      How wonderful that you have been in the Hall and have seen the Christmas Spectacular, and how exciting for Marilyn to have met the Rockets! Both sound like wonderful, and memorial experiences.

  4. Nice! Lights almost always dress up photos. Almost like Las Vegas, in the daytime it doesn’t look appealing but at night it’s glamour city. Too bad you didn’t get to see inside (I’ve never seen it too). Must not have been too crowded to use a tripod.

    1. Thank you so much Gordon! Yes, you’re right about Vegas. It loses a lot of its glamour during the daylight hours, but at night I love the lights, and energy there on the Strip.

      There was foot traffic on our side of the street, but I set up on the curb so wasn’t in the way. Oh, I took my little travel tripod which has a smaller presence. 🙂

  5. That’s a beautiful photo, Deborah. I’m glad to know that my daughter and I are not the only ones who have dragged a tripod around New York City. We took them into Central Park about a dozen years ago. It looks like the cars were waiting on you to get your shot 🙂

    1. Thank you Dan for the lovely comment!

      I packed my smaller travel tripod. It’s great for travel, but I do miss having the height of my bigger, heavier tripod quite often. I’ve never regretted taking a tripod, but I almost always regret not taking one so, I take it.

      Of the 3 images I took I have 2 with the car lights streaking through the foreground, but I liked this one image I had with the cars lined up waiting at the red light best to share first. They do look like they’re waiting for me to take the shot. 🙂

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