4. The ‘Radio City’ in ‘Radio City Music Hall’ Comes From the Venue’s First Tenant

Radio City Musical Hall red and blue neon sign

The venue’s originally proposed name was the International Music Hall. This name stuck around until the location secured its first tenant, The Radio Corporation of America (RCA). Under the RCA umbrella were NBC’s radio programs and RKO Studios’ major motion pictures. A partnership with the music hall and RCA was fruitful for both parties.

The introduction between Rockefeller and RCA was made by impresario S.L. “Roxy” Rothafel. By that point, Roxy was known for saving struggling theaters across America by infusing the, with new programs that blended vaudeville, movies, and extravagant decor. RCA head David Sarnoff dubbed the project with Rockefeller “Radio City” and the name has endured ever since.