Radio City Music Hall's hidden tunnel, celebrity guest book and more secrets. (Credit: Getty Images) http://www.amny.com/secrets-of-new-york/secrets-of-radio-city-music-hall-1.8047124 A 'ghost' orchestra, a hidden tunnel and more you've never seen. https://cdn.newsday.com/polopoly_fs/1.12810104.1482843373!/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/display_600/image.jpg landmarks Secrets of Radio City Music Hall 1260 6th Ave, New York, NY 10020 Website By Nina Ruggiero Updated December 27, 2016 7:58 AM Radio City Music Hall, the New York City icon and historical landmark that the Rockettes call home, is a 6,000-seat venue with the largest stage and indoor TV screen in the world. The Rockefeller Center venue opened on Dec. 27, 1932. But, maybe you've heard all of that before. Richard Claffey, senior vice president and general manager of Radio City, took amNewYork on an exclusive tour of the theater's secret places. Here are 10 of them. Credit: Nina Ruggiero The ceiling looks like a sunset, doesn't it? Before planning a design for Radio City Music Hall, John D. Rockefeller Jr. sent his team on a cruise to Europe to look at the theaters abroad for inspiration. They were more impressed by the view on the ship, however, which led to the sunset-inspired, golden-arched ceiling, with red seats depicting the reflection of the sun on the ocean. This is the view of the "horizon" from the Presidents' Booth, the highest point in the audience, 165 feet from the stage. Credit: Nina Ruggiero Books hold decades of autographs The signature of every celebrity to perform at Radio City Music Hall since 1932 is on file -- in 13 guest books filled to the brim with the most famous of names. While this one is kept out in a glass case for special visitors to browse, the others are tucked away in a drawer for safe-keeping. Credit: Nina Ruggiero There's a hidden tunnel under the venue Radio City Music Hall is connected to Rockefeller Center by an underground tunnel, which was frequented by patrons until it was closed to the public in the 1960s. Now, it's used as a quick and discreet way to shuttle celebrities between places without fanfare. Everyone from Ringo Starr to Jewel has walked its path. Credit: Nina Ruggiero A 'ghost' orchestra plays without musicians In a chamber two stories above the stage-level organs, sit a grand piano, drum set and glockenspiel -- all played during shows without any musicians actually touching them. As the organ players downstairs hit their notes, air travels from the organs through pipes in the ceiling and hits the sweet spots on the instruments above so that they are able to join in on the performance on their own. Credit: Nina Ruggiero The luxury apartment used to house the manager Radio City Music Hall's Roxy Suite, used today to host only the most A-list of visitors, was actually the apartment of the venue's original general manager Samuel Roxy Rothafel when it first opened in 1932. Rothafel, a storied New York theater entrepreneur, is credited with transforming the silent film experience at movie palaces in the early 20th century. He hosted everyone from Judy Garland to Vincente Minnelli, and traces of his time there still remain, from the grand decor to the vintage book collection on the shelves. Credit: Nina Ruggiero The Rockettes hang in their own Kickback Lounge Radio City's famed Rockette dancers hang out in a place called the Kickback Lounge (where else?) that's stocked with massage chairs for soothing aches or napping between shows, places to eat and socialize, and, of course, plenty of exercise equipment to keep them in tip-top shape. There is no standard Rockette workout -- sorry, ladies -- but each dancer abides by her own routine. Credit: Nina Ruggiero The hall's organs block tiny doors Radio City's two Wurlitzer organs, sitting on either side of the stage, are the only two of their kind in the world. But in spite of the grand appearance of the instruments themselves, the hall's organ players have to crawl through a tiny door to get to their stools without being noticed. Credit: Nina Ruggiero How musicians are magically transported Thanks to an intricate system behind the scenes that includes a 10,000 pound band car driven by a man lying on his stomach in a crawl space below, musicians can seamlessly be transported a distance of 80 feet to the orchestra pit mid-show without the audience ever knowing what happened. Credit: Nina Ruggiero The venue keeps a uniform appearance While the Rockettes' costumes change many times in the course of just one show, every detail of the theater itself has remained the same since it opened in 1932. Given New York City historical landmark status in 1978 and national landmark status in 1987, Radio City Music Hall must keep everything in its original state -- down to the patterns of the wallpaper and carpets and the upholstery on the seats. When these are updated, Radio City actually deals with the same manufacturers it has used since it opened, some still run by the same families. Credit: Nina Ruggiero An artist's tennis elbow? Famed American muralist Ezra Winter created the enormous painting in Radio City Music Hall's lobby to depict mankind's search for the fountain of eternal youth, but was he inspired by his own aches and pains at the time? The mural, at 40 feet high and 60 feet wide, is so large, the entire piece had to be painted outdoors on a tennis court in sections and sewn together. Proud members of Winter's family still attend shows at Radio City today. Previous Secret Next Secret Comments We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.