NEW YORK -- The world's largest theatre, inspired and managed by the man who has been with the "world's largest" theatres for several years, opens tonight.
It is the Radio City music hall with a foyer a city block long, a stage built to hold 750 performers at one time, elaborately ornate public rooms and lobbies, and a seating capacity of 6,200. The manager is Samuel Lionel Rothofel, better known as Roxy. His previous charge, "Roxy's," was in its day the world's largest theatre, "The cathedral of the motion picture," but today it is in he hands of the receiver.
Tonight's opening performance will require the services of 350 per formers and will be played before a distinguished audience including John D. Rockefeller, jr., whose money erected the edifice, Owen D. Young, Leopold Stokowski, Walter P. Chrysler, and countless celebrities. The management chose recipients of first-night tickets from some one hundred thousand applications.
Radio City music hall is part of the giant mid-town development sponsored by Rockefeller and called Rockefeller Center. A companion theatre, RKO Roxy, is to open later.
The music hall will devote itself exclusively to the variety type of entertainment without benefit of motion pictures. Its "resident" company is composed of a choir of 80 voices, a symphony orchestra of 90 pieces, a ballet of 60, and 48 Roxyettes" or precision dancers.
There will be scores of "guest" performers. The bills will be changed monthly.
The theatre is not only the largest but perhaps the richest. Its foyer and lobbies are decorated with murals, hung with exquisite tapes tries and crystal chandeliers, laid with rich rugs, and furnished with heavy, expensive furniture and object d'arts in semi-precious metals.
Its stage is divided into three sections and each one may be raised or lowered or all three may be locked together and raised or lowered as one. Built in the middle section is a revolving part which is a stage within itself and revolves clock-wise and counter-clockwise and can be raised and lowered.
Trick and color lighting are applicable not only to the stage but to the auditorium.
The theatre has 23 flags and will fly the national calors for any distinguished foreigner in its audience. Tonight all 23 flags will be displayed.
Two hundred doormen, ushers, and pages in rich uniforms, will be on duty. Back stage will be nearly 100 carpenters, electricians, and property men. In all there are 748 employes, or one for every nine seats.