To celebrate our New York Spectacular, we Rockettes flipped the switch at the Empire State Building on Wednesday, June 15, to light up the New York City skyline with the spectacular colors of summer: yellow, orange and white!
“We are so thrilled to be here at the Empire State Building in honor of the opening of the New York Spectacular,” says Rockette Courtney, who was joined by her fellow Rockette sisters Rachel, Maranda and Kristen. “There’s no better place to celebrate the opening of the New York Spectacular than at the Empire State Building.”
This isn’t the first time we’ve turned on the building’s bright lights with the push of a button! It’s become somewhat of a tradition on our first day of performances. To celebrate the opening of the 2015 Radio City Christmas Spectacular, we flipped the switch to light up the New York City skyline with the colors of the holiday season.
So when did the Empire State Building first shine its lights? On May 1, 1931. The Empire State Building officially opened for business when President Herbert Hoover turned on the building’s lights with the push of a button from Washington, D.C. Since then, the landmark skyscraper and its brilliant lights have become an iconic part of the New York City skyline.
About 45 years later, in 1976, visitors and residents alike were wowed when the building went Technicolor for the first time, donning red, white and blue to mark the nation’s bicentennial. Since its first foray into color, the Empire State Building has never looked back.
Here are a few more fun facts to celebrate the Empire State Building (and our New York Spectacular!):
- In 2012, the Empire State Building swapped its color gels for a new LED lighting system capable of creating a staggering 16,000,000 different color combinations.
- Thursdays-Saturdays from 9 p.m. to 12 a.m., hear a saxophonist on the 86th floor Observatory.
- The Empire State Building is home to so many businesses that it has its own ZIP code: 10118.
- On a clear day, visitors to the Empire State Building’s observation decks can see five states: New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts.
- On foggy autumn and spring nights, the lights are turned off so that migrating birds don’t get confused by the bright lights and fly into the building.
- Couples who marry on the 80th floor each year on Valentine’s Day become members of the Empire State Building Wedding Club, and receive free admission to the observatory each year on their February 14th anniversary.
- The Empire State Building is struck by lightning an average of 23 times a year.
- Couples should be careful kissing on the top of the Empire State Building because the static electricity is so strong that people on the observatory floor can see sparks when they smooch.