A Detailed Guided Tour Of NBC…From 1926 – 1947
With the help NBC veterans Joel Spector and Dennis Degan, we have identified the many places inside Radio City at 30 Rockefeller Plaza that is shown in this interior travelog of NBC. This is narrated by NBC legend Ben Grauer who we’ll also see in a couple of places.
In the first minutes, there are quick opening shots of Arturo Toscanini in 8H and the NBC Master Control room on the fifth floor which was in use from 1933 till 1963.
At 2:11, we get more quick shots of 8H, 3B and either 6A or B.
At 2:40, we see Ben Grauer in what it implied as a 1926 broadcast…this could be actual footage of him on stage at NBC’s first home at 711 5th Avenue, or it could be reproduced for this film. At 9:37, I think we see Ben again and he is older, so this may well be real footage from 711.
At 4:50, we see the exterior of 30 Rockefeller Plaza, and just seconds later, we are in the lobby.
At 5:01 we get a look at the original lobby configuration which included the staircase to the large mezzanine and as the footage rolls, we wind up there. FYI, NBC is restoring these areas now and they will look a lot like this when they are finished next year. The staircase is located where the security desk was until just recently.
At 5:25 we see the original radio master control board used at 711 5th Avenue. It is in front of the new radio master control on the 5th floor.
At 6:45, after seeing the 5th floor, we enter NBC Radio Studio 3B which is now home to NBC Nightly News.
At 8:00, we find NBC’s legendary newscaster H. V. Kaltenborn in one of the many small news studios in the building. This was probably on the 4th floor, as was the newsroom that we see next.
At 14:20, we move into Studio 8H, which was then called “The Auditorium Studio”
At 14:52 we see director George Voutsas with engineer Gil Markle, both of whom Joel worked with in 1965.
At 17:20 we get a quick look at NBC Radio City West in Hollywood
At 19:08, I don’t know exactly where this is but suspect this could be Studio 3A.
Finally, at 21:55 we arrive in television land in Studio 8G, NBC’s second television studio. The first 8G broadcast was ‘Hour Glass’ and I am 99% certain that the show we see there is an episode of ‘Hour Glass’ which was a variety show.
We end with footage from 8H with The NBC Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Arturo Toscanini. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee with thanks to Joel Spector and Dennis Degan.