The amphitheater seated 10,000 patrons for the daily shows at 3:30, 5:30, 8:30 and 10:45.
Above the seats, a stage manager controlled the switchboard for the 2,410 lamps and sound system.
A ramp surrounded the pool for the showgirls and dancers, known as the Aquabelles and Aquadudes. At either end two seventy â€“ five â€“ foot â€“ high diving towers housed the orchestra and chorus.
The swimming pool was 300 feet long and fifty-five feet wide. It measured 9-feet deep on the ends, for the diving exhibitions, and 4-feet' in the center section, where most of the synchronized swimming took place. Lights under the water show the divers where the 5-foot drop is.
The pool caused constant problems at the Aquacade. Over time, the water became quite murky, causing a serious health hazard to the performers. In July, a filtering system, costing $30,000, that mixed ozone with the water was installed and the swimmers' ear trouble, pink eye and sinus infections cleared up dramatically.
Due to an unusually cold May, the pools temperatures ranged between fifty-one and fifty-three degrees. Billy Rose authorized the installation of a $7,500 heating system to keep the pool water at a comfortable 75 degrees. In September, Rose added installed an additional heating system, at a $10,000 expense, to raise the pool's temperature to 82 degrees for the autumn months.
The Sign Controversy
The Aquacade occupied a large portion of the New York State building. The major complaint came from Park Commissioner Robert Moses who objected to the huge lettering advertising the Aquacade and overwhelming the state's exhibit pavilion.
Columnist H. J. Phillips jibbed: "Mr. Moses ain't seen nothin' yet. Any day now he can expect to discover that Mr. Rose is working on a plan to have Grover Whalen act as a sandwich man for the Rose entertainment."
The state's Fair commission decided to add 6-foot letters, NEW YORK STATE, to the 5-foot' letters, AMPHITEATER AND EHIBITS." They also demanded the AQUACADE letters be reduced to 5-feet' from 8-feet.
Billy Rose told the press the Aquacade contained the three things he most admired: sex, sentiment and curiosity. "Eleanor Holm in a tiny wet bathing suit is worth a hundred Sally Rands with or without bubbles (Irving Berlin stopped by the Aquacade one evening and jokingly inquired: "Say, Billy, by the way, whatever became of Sally Rand?") As for the show, it's a sort of a water Radio City Music Hall effect."
As the patrons took their seats, an 8,000-gallon-a-minute spraying system created a veil of mist 260-feet wide and 40-feet high in front of the pool area. Paul Whiteman and his orchestra occupied space under one diving tower and Fred Waring's Glee Club sang from the other.
Then the wall of water dropped, revealing a row of Aquabelles and Aquabeaux. They stood silently for ten seconds and then dove into the pool in a domino- like sequence.
The show consisted of four segments: "A Beach in Florida" featured Frances Williams singing "It Happened in Miami" while the Aquabelles and Aquabeaux frolicked along the stage or swam in intricate patterns.
The second segment introduced Eleanor Holm as Morton Downey sang the Billy Rose composed "Yours For A Song." (This number became a nationwide hit and the Fair adopted it as its official song during the late summer, discarding George Gershwin's "Dawn of a New Day.") Miss Holm also duet-swam with her water companion – Johnny Weissmuller. A roller skating sequence and a diving exhibition concluded this segment.
A self-partnering chorus routine made up the third scene.