Museums >Paley Center For Media
25 W. 52nd St., New York, NY | Directions 1001940.760459 -73.977885
Mon. - Fri. 9am - 5pm;Sat. - Sun. CLOSED
Neighborhoods: Midtown, Midtown Center
Blast from the Past – When you are in New York City, and have a hankering to see an old TV show from your youth, go to this place- it looks like a bank on the outside but the inside is full of TV treasures.
There's a Mac computer for you to search the database for the television or radio program you want to see. There is always a Visitor Services staff person available to assist you. When you find a program you want, you reserve it and then go to a console room, where you watch or listen to the program at a monitor with headphones.
The Ralph Guild Radio Listening Room is on the fifth floor. The museum has 5 preprogrammed listening series, and this is a unique way for visitors to experience the radio collection. The Museum also offers live and taped radio broadcasts throughout the year, where stations from across the country come to the Ralph Guild Radio Studio to broadcast their shows. These events are usually open to the public.
The museum has a series that plays concurrently at the New York and Los Angeles Museums. If you miss the date when something is showing, the programs are always available at an individual console.
The Museum has more than 100,000 hours of television and radio programming in the permanent collection. However, there are many significant broadcasts for which no copies are known to exist.
In the spring of 1996, the Museum joined forces with Nick at Nite to launch a campaign to heighten awareness of the need to preserve television programming.
A treasure trove of pop-culture nostalgia. – Overview
The problem of archiving and presenting a collection that exists only in the ether and on tape has been solved with a combination of technology and ingenuity. The museum exercises curatorial guidance by offering pre-selected series with various themes, including retrospectives, radio variety shows or the entire run of a TV series.
Materials are delivered to the visitor in a variety of formats: theaters, screening and listening rooms, personal consoles and galleries. The centerpiece is a hi-tech cataloging and delivery system. The visitor selects a TV or radio program, which is then whisked up from an automated storage center and into a personal viewing or listening console. The collection includes pretty much anything that has ever been on TV or radio. But it's up to you whether to spend an afternoon watching "Jetsons" cartoons or the Nixon-Kennedy debates.
Classic TV is Good For You – This a great hidden find in midtown. I often go there for special events -- recently a tribut to Rod Sterling and the Ed Sullivan Show.
The museum is rarely crowded and the staff is very helpful.
Media Junkie's Dream – This is one of the best museums in New York, regardless of what anyone wants to say about the Guggenheim or the Natural History Museum ... whenever there's a TV show or radio program I've been reminiscing about, I can go to the museum's reference library and watch it again -- even commercials. They also have some good lectures, often with celebrity-heavy panels and discussion groups. This is a museum you can go to and watch a group of people debate the historical significance of "The Jeffersons"! It's fabulous. Good gift shop, too.
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