December 27 has some rather significant events attached to it. It was on this day in 1978 that Spain announced to the world it was an official democracy. Charles Darwin set sail on December 27, 1836. Almost a century later, as the U.S. struggled with the results of the stock market crash three years earlier, Radio City Music Hall opened in New York City.
Radio City Music Hall was the brainchild of John D. Rockefeller Jr. Rockefeller owned a $91 million mortgage on a block of real estate in Manhattan when the American economy collapsed after the 1929 stock market crash. His original plan was an opera house. However, this was scrapped for a more “populist” option.
In a remarkable exercise of marketing and corporate sponsorship, Rockefeller teamed up with Radio Corporation of America (RCA) to create the people’s music hall where someone could go and enjoy a quality show at an affordable price. This was a serendipitous pairing given RCA’s distribution of NBC radio shows, the most popular form of home entertainment at that time.
Since its opening, Radio City Music Hall has had over 300 million admissions for everything from concerts to stage shows. The original designers believed movies would become one of Americans’ best forms of escapism. Hence, the Hall was designed to showcase major movie releases of the day and throughout the coming decades.