This is a glimpse backstage at Radio City Music Hall. Well, to be more accurate, it’s really the understage. The stage floor is broken up into three pieces, and each of those pieces can be raised or lowered from 27 feet below to 13 feet above the stage level. This is the machinery that makes it all happen.
As the story goes, these lifts were so advanced when they were built in 1932, the Navy used them as a model for aircraft carrier elevators. So, during World War II, government guards were posted in the basement to protect the technology. Except for a few minor improvements, the system still works the same way today.