Thursday, October 08, 2009

Radio Theatre

A noun is a person, place or thing. Radio theater is normally thought of as a thing. A number of actors, foley men, musicians hosts announcer etc. gather and perform a play. But there were such places as radio theaters. The terminology is long departed, but there were once many.Many radio programs and play groups used the nomenclature: Lux Radio theatre, Mutual Radio theatre, Sears Radio theatre, The California Artists Radio Theatre, the American Radio Theatre, Midwest Radio Theatre Workshop, Riders Radio Theater, NBC Radio theater... the list goes on

But movie houses called themselves "theaters" as they most often were formerly hosting vaudeville. They were theaters in the true original sense. But how did radio figure into it? It all goes back to RKO. It stands for Radio Keith-Orpheum. Even Radio City Music hall was a RKO theatre.

They were one of the original Big-5 studios in the 1930s. David Sarnoff through RCA bought and merged The Keith-Albee-Orpheum Theater chain merged with Joseph P. Kennedy's Film Booking Offices of America. The new company name was RKO. Their films became "RCA Radio Pictures." Their physical movie houses re-branded as we'd say these days. The original RKO closed up shop in 1957. Some movie houses still hang onto their name from that era. I present here a short list. I've not confirmed in person.. it could be an AMC by now. I wrote abotu their demise once before in connection to another topic.

Harrisburg, AR Radio Theatre 210 N Main St
Chicago, IL Radio Theatre
Baltimore, MD Radio Theatre 629 N Eden St
Ferndale, MI Radio City Theater 22875 Woodward Ave
Minneapolis, MN Radio City Theatre 36 S Ninth St
Saint Paul, MN Radio Theatre 1195 E Seventh St
Saint Louis, MO Radio Theatre
Saint Louis, MO Radio-Orpheum Theatre
New York, NY Radio City Music Hall 1260 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY Radio Theatre 4113 13th Ave.
New York, NY Radio Theatre 1348 Southern Blvd