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MTV Video Music Awards: Here Is Some Newsreel Footage of Radio City Music Hall From the 1940s

An exterior shot of Radio City Music Hall from the 1940s.
Radio City Music Hall
British Pathé

The MTV Video Music Awards are underway in New York City Monday night, as the world’s hottest new artists give breathtaking performances of the songs that have defined the year. The Radio City Music Hall stage is the hottest venue in the world right now, at this very moment, and inside the theater, lucky ticket-holders are watching their favorite musicians, actors, and all-purpose celebrities celebrate videos, music, and awards. Meanwhile, a live television audience of millions is engrossed in the telecast, soaking up the amazing energy that forms whenever so many brilliantly talented people gather in a single place at a single time.

But if you’re reading this, you probably weren’t invited. So to help you combat the fear of missing out, here’s some British Pathé silent newsreel footage of the exterior of Radio City Music Hall in the 1940s, mere decades before it would become the hottest place in the world to be:

Maybe you can hook your computer up to your television and pretend you never cut the cable cord, and also the audio is broken for some reason, and also your TV is black and white, and also it is the 1940s, and also instead of the MTV Video Music Awards they’re showing The Bells of St. Mary’s, but nevertheless, there you are, right in the middle of everything! Or you can put on your favorite record while you watch it and pretend Rick Dees and His Cast of Idiots are sweeping the awards. Or you can sing softly to yourself, and then you’re the night’s big winner. Whatever you choose, one thing is certain: They were wrong about you, and one day you’ll make them eat their words. But not tonight. Tonight is the MTV Video Music Awards!