A Very Special Behind-the-Scenes Look at Radio City
January 30th, 2009, 11:14 am
When Diane Lloyd arrived at Radio City Music Hall at 6:00 p.m. two nights ago, the theater was “dark”, but the lights were on for the MAS Patrons. She, and 53 others who had braved the nasty weather that night, were in for a truly rare treat. Hugh Hardy — the architect and mastermind of the building’s 1998 award-winning restoration — gave an insider’s behind-the-scenes tour of this world-famous concert hall. From the stunning art-deco lobby with its 60-foot ceilings, to the iconic auditorium, from the stage, to the smoking rooms (where no-one is allowed to smoke anymore), to the complex system hydraulic lifts underneath the stage, it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for all.
Hugh Hardy, an MAS Vice Chairman, who has an encyclopedic knowledge of the space, asked the group before the tour began to just imagine a pre-1932 world in which no theater like this existed anywhere in the US or even the world. The guests were treated to a bevy of captivating details about the space, as well as incredible stories about Mr. Hardy’s time pressure to complete the restoration before the season’s first Christmas Spectacular with the Radio City Rockettes in 1998.
MAS played a critical role in saving Radio City in the 1970s, when we successfully fought to put a stop to misguided plans to convert the entire hall into office space.