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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Radio City: 1932

Radio City: 1932

December 7, 1932. "International Music Hall, Radio City, Rockefeller Center, New York. House with curtain down, from main orchestra." Large-format acetate negative by Gottscho-Schleisner. View full size.

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Two Consoles

The Radio City Wurlitzer organ consists of 58 ranks of pipes and a wide assortment of percussion instruments (drums, bells, etc. including a 9' grand piano) all installed above and behind the stage. Because of a relatively new computer relay (brain) now in place, it can be played from either of the two independent consoles or simultaneously by 2 organists.
It is worth noting that S.L. "Roxy" Rothafel intended the organ to be built by Kimball Organ Co., but Kimball was not the #1 theatre organ builder. Others argued that RC couldn't do with anything less than the best. So, it was built by Wurlitzer according to a Kimball design.


Theaters don't have Ghosts, they have Phantoms.

Air Conditioning of RC

I remember when RC opened. Our friend and neighbor, Jack Lantry, was the engineer to get the contract to air condition Radio City. It was one of the first to be done on a large scale. The fresh air was compressed, then expanded and finally cooled by water.

Almost lost

Radio City was almost lost to bankruptcy in the late 1970s. Thank goodness it was rescued. It's a gem. And the most comfortable theater I've ever been in.


Appears to be haunted by several ghosts.

Dueling Organs?

I've heard of Dueling Banjos, and dueling pianos, but dueling organs? Are there actually two full four-manual, 100+ stop organs in that hall, or one big one that can be played by two tandem organists?

Radio City Music Hall

From this past Thanksgiving, to see the Rockettes' Christmas show. (It was my wife's idea, honest.)

SHORPY OLD PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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