• U.S.

Radio: Back Yard & Basement

1 minute read

Two months ago NBC opened its brand-new broadcasting studios in Hollywood— the $1,500,000 Radio City on Sunset Boulevard and Vine Street—and simultaneously knocked the dust out of Hollywood tradition. No floodlights streaked the sky, no celebrities battled their way past autograph hounds to offer congratulations.

NBC’s officials simply announced: “Papa is too busy with fixing up the back yard and the basement to entertain company.” Last week both back yard and basement had been fixed and the public was invited in to look it over. They saw three stories of offices, four auditorium studios (two of them with stages bigger than any other in radio), seven smaller studios. Each auditorium seat was upholstered in material as sound-absorbent as the average spectator and his clothes, to provide equal acoustical values for rehearsals in empty studios and broadcasts played to packed houses. (This trick was used earlier in Manhattan’s Radio City Music Hall, is upset only by an uncommonly dressy audience. For starched-shirt bosoms are poor absorbers, bounce sounds back toward the stage.) Unseen were 20 miles of cable, some 500 vacuum tubes, 100 amplifiers, a gasoline-driven generator for emergency use in Hollywood’s next flood, many another foresighted gadget.

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