Samuel Lionel “Roxy” Rothafel
Samuel Lionel “Roxy” Rothafel (1882–1936)
Better known simply as “Roxy,” Mr.Rothafel was the fanciful mind behind the movie palace concept. He bolstered theater shows, such as those at the R.K.O. and Radio City Music Hall, with the addition of live music, entertainment during intermissions and a lavish visual atmosphere.
To understand Roxy’s brand of entertainment, one need only look to the Radio City Rockettes. The Rockettes, originally the Roxyettes, were brought onboard Radio City at Roxy’s prompting. The Rockettes are now inseparable, even synonymous with RCMH and its annual Christmas Spectacular Show.
Though Roxy resigned from Radio City Music Hall shortly after its opening , his influence can still be felt in the spirit of the building. The layered ceiling of the auditorium, reminiscent of warm waves of sunlight radiating from the stage, was Roxy’s take on theater decor — inspired by a cruiseliner he once travelled on .