The Museum of
Television & Radio
25 West 52nd Street
Between 5th and 6th Avenues
NYC, NY 10019
Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
January 18, 2005
A perfect afternoon in NY is an afternoon at The Museum of Television & Radio, where there are thousands of archived original TV shows, such as variety and comedy hours of Milton Berle, Ed Sullivan, George Burns and Gracie Allen, and Lucille Ball. There are historical TV news programs and filmed events, cataloguing all the memorable and almost memorable dates in world history. There are also rare radio shows and The Ralph Guild Radio Listening Room, with headphones that turn to Ronald Reagan and Ray Charles. There’s even a radio broadcasting room available for unique interviews or professional programs.
Special screenings and seminars are part of the Museum of Television & Radio experience. These screenings and seminars may include 21st Century Talk Radio, How to Cook for Television, and the John Cassavetes festival, with a film schedule included. There are even Emmy Award winning TV movies, such as Henry VIII and George Orwell: A Life in Pictures. A special Popeye exhibit was on view today, and the cartoon history and technical details were fascinating and entertaining.
I and my guests were treated royally (as are all visitors to The Museum of Television & Radio), as we stepped off the elevator on the “computer” floor. Guests are greeted warmly and taught how to use the computers, in order to find a master list of TV and radio archives, or to find a list of TV shows that fit one’s imagination. After we signed for the shows, by computer, we were given a code number to sign on at the private or shared (if you wish) television screen. Everyone gets headphones, and this museum is extremely quiet. One hears only occasional laughter, a nice sound in NY these days. I happened to watch a George Burns and Gracie Allen show, as well as Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and NYC Ballet, Balanchine on TV, historical programs. It was wonderful to see Judith Jamison and Sara Yarborough dance, with Alvin Ailey’s narration, and to see Edward Villella and Patricia McBride of NYC Ballet dance in Divertimento Brillante.
There are several floors, and one is always greeted upon disembarking from the elevator. Personal attention and assistance are trademarks of The Museum of Television & Radio. In fact, the staff may be actors, producers, stand-up comics, or cabaret singers. And, if you ask, they might even sing you a song or tell you a joke! But, quietly, of course. Each day, a new schedule is printed for visitors, and tours and screenings are listed by the hour. No matter what time you arrive (See www.mtr.org for museum schedule), something special is happening or being presented. When you visit The Museum of Television & Radio, tell them you saw them on RobertaOnTheArts.com.