Empire City Rink Grand Musical Palace

Event Information

Empire Skating Rink

Manager / Director:
Lafayette F. Harrison

Harvey Bradley Dodworth

Price: $.25; free for children under 12

Event Type:
Band, Choral

Performance Forces:
Instrumental, Vocal

Record Information


Last Updated:
28 August 2019

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

17 May 1869
18 May 1869
19 May 1869
20 May 1869
21 May 1869
22 May 1869

Program Details

No time given, but the building was open from 9am until midnight. Event included a series of "grand concerts," featuring a full orchestra, military bands and “an immense chorus."

The program, at least on 05/17/69, also included unidentified music by Strauss, Sanderson, Reichardt, Dodworth, and others. Music in Gotham assumes that Dodworth's Arline quadrille was performed based on the New York Herald review of 05/18/69 (see below).

Second appearance of Carrie Moore, “skatorial queen,” on Tuesday evening.

Performers and/or Works Performed

Composer(s): Rossini
Composer(s): Weber
Composer(s): Dodworth
Composer(s): Offenbach


Advertisement: New York Herald, 17 May 1869, 12.
Announcement: New-York Times, 17 May 1869, 5.

“Success stimulates imitation. [This announcement follows a favorable review of Theodore Thomas’s outdoor concert series at the Central Park Garden.] We have the announcement of another series of open-air entertainments at the Empire City Rink, corner of Thir-davenue and Sixty-third-street, which is to commence this evening, under the management or Mr. L. F. Harrison. Mr. Harvey Dodworth will control the musical department, and a number of miscellaneous exhibitions will be presented.”

Advertisement: New-York Times, 17 May 1869, 7.
Review: New York Herald, 18 May 1869, 7.

The Empire City Musical Palace.—An overwhelming audience assembled last evening at the Empire City Rink, Third avenue and Sixty-third street, the occasion being the inauguration of this immense salle as a ‘grand musical palace’ and promenàde musicale. The appearance of the great concert room was of the most animating description, the long wreaths, bandeaus and arches of flaming gas jets, the drapery of flags, and the gigantic moving concourse of fashionable ladies and gentlemen combining to make the scene magnificent. The concerts are to be given nightly, under the personal direction of Harvey B. Dodworth, whose orchestra, comprising about forty performers, has been engaged for the season. Last night the programme embraced some of the choicest selections from ‘Semiramide,’ ‘Oberon,’ ‘Arline,’ ‘Genevieve’ and other favorite operas, together with some exquisite morceaux from the portfolios of Strauss, Sanderson, Reichardt, Dodworth, and various other maestrii. The establishment is under the direction of the masterly caterer to the New York public, Lafayette F. Harrison, and promises to be an immense success. The entire programme was rendered in Dodworth’s most masterly style, and the largest roofed building in the United States gave ample scope for the display of the qualities of the superb orchestra. Not less than seven thousand persons were present during the evening. A novel featur [sic] of the entertainment consists in the fact that certain intervals during the evening are set apart for velocipede exercises, and a series of important contests will take place during the present week between Harding, Meisinger and other experts. McMillian, Taxter and Kelly still retain their connection with the concern, and as a whole it will present probably one of the most varied and agreeable entertainments of the approaching season.”