RKO Roxy Theatre, Rockefeller Center, NYC, 1932

From BOB ASHLEY:

This was the RKO Roxy in Rockefeller Center (not to be confused with the first Roxy).
Here’s a snip from a Time magazine article on its demolition in 1953:

When the Rockefellers opened Rockefeller Center in mid-Manhattan in 1932, they assumed that the Center could support two big theaters: the 6,200-seat Radio City Music Hall and the 3,500-seat Center Theatre. The plan was for the Music Hall to have vaudeville while the Center, only a block away, would show movies. The plan fell through when vaudeville died, and the Music Hall also began showing films.

Unable to meet the competition of its bigger brother, the Center Theatre turned to stage extravaganzas (one was The Great Waltz) and an occasional opera or ballet, but did little better. It had a profitable respite with the Sonja Henie ice show from 1940 to 1950, then became NBC’s biggest television theater (Milton Berle show, etc.). But its income did not keep pace with Manhattan’s rising real-estate values. Last week Rockefeller Center’s Chairman Laurance Rockefeller pronounced a death sentence on the relatively young building. When NBC’s lease expires next May, workmen will tear down the Center’s vermilion doors, mahogany walls, its six-ton, 400-bulb chandelier, once the world’s biggest. On the theater’s site will rise a new $11 million, 19-story office building that will connect with the U.S. Rubber Co. building and bear the same name.

The Wurlitzer Theater Organ, which can be seen to stage right, was removed and eventually was installed in the Alexandria Roller Rink outside Washington. The organ remained there until 1979 when it was sold and removed.

get-attachment.aspx?uid=1.28123267&folder=Inbox&partId=4

No Comments

  1. Warren G. Harris

    Ironic that this got posted on what is the 50th anniversary of the closing of the original Roxy Theatre on March 29th, 1960. By that time, the Roxy had dropped stage shows, and presented the British import, “The Wind Cannot Read,” as its final attraction.

  2. Warren G. Harris

    Ironic that this got posted on what is the 50th anniversary of the closing of the original Roxy Theatre on March 29th, 1960. By that time, the Roxy had dropped stage shows, and presented the British import, “The Wind Cannot Read,” as its final attraction.

  3. I have programs entitled Showplace for February 19,1948 and February 24, 1949. In 1948 G.S Eyssell is the managing director. He was also director in 1949.I also have a Center Theatre Program for Howdy Mr. Ice Dated week beginning February 21, 1949. Finally I have a ticket stub of Jed Prouty of 20th Centure Fox . Is there an archive department that would like these?

    • Shannon V.

      Hi Twila, I would be interested in your programs for those shows. I am actually looking for information as to the names of the orchestra members. My grandmother was in some of the ice shows and I’m wondering if she is listed. Her name was Beatrice Flanagan. If you have any information I would appreciate any tips. Thanks, Shannon.

  4. I have programs entitled Showplace for February 19,1948 and February 24, 1949. In 1948 G.S Eyssell is the managing director. He was also director in 1949.I also have a Center Theatre Program for Howdy Mr. Ice Dated week beginning February 21, 1949. Finally I have a ticket stub of Jed Prouty of 20th Centure Fox . Is there an archive department that would like these?

    • Shannon V.

      Hi Twila, I would be interested in your programs for those shows. I am actually looking for information as to the names of the orchestra members. My grandmother was in some of the ice shows and I’m wondering if she is listed. Her name was Beatrice Flanagan. If you have any information I would appreciate any tips. Thanks, Shannon.

  5. Hi Twila!!!

    I noticed on other websites that you mentioned you have postcard sketches of The Allerton House in NYC at 130 East 57th Street! I would love to have these as they are detrimental to my brother and I’s research on a lady from our hometown who lived at The Allerton in the 30′s! You can contact me at musicfanatic89@gmail.com

    Thanks,
    Clinton Bittle

  6. Hi Twila!!!

    I noticed on other websites that you mentioned you have postcard sketches of The Allerton House in NYC at 130 East 57th Street! I would love to have these as they are detrimental to my brother and I’s research on a lady from our hometown who lived at The Allerton in the 30′s! You can contact me at musicfanatic89@gmail.com

    Thanks,
    Clinton Bittle

Leave a Comment

You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Current day month ye@r *

Back

© Theatre Historical Society of America. York Theatre Building • 152 N. York Street, 2nd floor • Elmhurst, IL 60126-2806 • Ph. (630) 782-1800 • Fax (630) 782-1802 • info@historictheatres.org • Copyright © 2013 Theatre Historical Society of America. All rights reserved.