INTRODUCTION: For millions of people throughout the world The Empire State symbolises New York and America.
MONO GV Scaffolder on top of original building (2 shots)
GV PAN New York sky-line Empire State Building
GV TILT UP EXTERIOR Windows
GV PAN UP Empire State Building AND 360 DEGREE TILT
GV Acrobats perform on narrow ledge (3 shots)
GV AND CU OF STILL King Kong on top (3 shots)
GV Air ship approaching building
AV Top of building
GV Air ship docking on top of building
COLOUR GV PAN UP Building
GV AERIAL SHOT Top of Building
SV Spectators on top admire view
GV TILT UP Empire State Building
LV ZOOM INTO SV Manhattan sky-line and Empire State Building (3 shots)
SPEECH ON FILM (TRANSCRIPT)
COMMENTATOR: "New York's mid-town sky line already futuristic with its towering spires, now has a biggest bog brother -- the 102-storey Empire State Building. One quarter of a mile (1/2 a kilometre) straight up....Few of the seven thousand windows which will give daylight for twenty thousand workers.
"The Empire State Building, New York, highest in the world attracts the three Jackson Boys for their so called daily exercises. On a narrow ledge, 86 storeys up, just a mere thousand and fifty feet (320 metres) above the street. A slip here would mean...well it would just be all over. Now grip your seats and feel what it's like to be down side up on top of the world. Gives you a nasty turn uh? Well, thank goodness that turn's over."
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: INTRODUCTION: For millions of people throughout the world The Empire State symbolises New York and America. It may not be Manhattan's tallest building any more but the Empire State Building is still New York's -- and the world's -- favourite. It has been visited by 56 million tourists, King Kong swung from it, a bomber smashed into it and 26 people have jumped from it to their deaths. On Friday (1 May) it was fifty years old and New York threw a birthday party. The week had been declared "Empire State Building Week". More than 1.75 million tourists a year ride the 63 lifts to the open air observatory on the 86th floor where on a clear day you can see as far as 130 kilometres (80 miles). The 320 metre (1,050 feet) building has been eclipsed in sheer height by the World Trade Centre in Manhattan at 411 metres (1,350 feet) and the Sears Tower in Chicago at 442 metres (1,450 feet) but its splendour soaring above 34th street and Fifth Avenue has ensured it a part in everybody's mythology of America.
SYNOPSIS: In 1931 this Scaffolder enjoyed a lonely and magnificent view over Manhattan. It was the depths of the depression but a skyscraper race was under way....
The building has appeared in some 150 films. The most famous image being the great ape King Kong swatting airplanes on the roof.
Architect William Lamb added a 61-metre (200 foot) mooring mast for dirigibles. He saw his building as the debarkation point for airship passengers from Europe. Only one small dirigible ever moored there. Another managed to drop a bundle of newspapers whilst almost pulling the assembled celebrities off the top in 1931. But the dirigible which docked created an impressive picture over Manhattan.
Now fifty years after its opening the building is thriving. Visitors flock to the observatory by day and night. Just four offices are empty and its total value is put at half a billion dollars.
The building has changed hands only three times and there are repeated offers to buy it. But visitors say the most famous tower in the Manhattan skyline is worth far more than money.