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TODAY celebrates the 25th anniversary of Studio 1A

TODAY took a look back to the day it opened Studio 1A in 1994, remembering all the great crowds, heartwarming moments, tasty food and summer concerts over the years.
/ Source: TODAY

TODAY is celebrating 25 years at Studio 1A at Rockefeller Center!

It's been a quarter century of cheering crowds, legendary summer concert performances, wedding proposals, Halloween fun, celebrity chefs, heartwarming moments and everything else under the sun (and occasionally rain or snow) since former TODAY anchors Katie Couric and Bryant Gumbel first welcomed everyone to Studio 1A on June 20, 1994.

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The studio's "window on the world" looking out on Rockefeller Plaza allowed TODAY fans to connect with the show in person and served as a throwback to the show's roots during its beginning in 1952 with a windowed studio in the early days of television.

The TODAY anchors give a wave to the crowd through the famous window on the world in Studio 1A. Nathan Congleton / TODAY

TODAY moved inside to a traditional studio in the 1960s after the advent of color television (when the cameras couldn't easily adjust to changing sunlight), but went back to its beginnings with the creation of Studio 1A.

"It felt like this return to the past in a way,'' Savannah Guthrie said on TODAY Thursday.

Savannah and Craig Melvin also marked the anniversary by dressing in the same 1994-style outfits as Katie and Bryant from the studio's debut.

Savannah and Craig had a throwback vibe going by copying the outfits of Katie Couric and Bryant Gumbel from the beginnings of Studio 1A. Nathan Congleton / TODAY

No one has spent more on time on the plaza than Al Roker, who started full time on TODAY in 1996.

"They come to be part of our family,'' he said about the crowds. "That's what really sets us apart. This has become a destination. People come from all around the country, all around the world, just to be part of this.

"In a day and age of social media when everybody can see everybody else, they still love coming here."

It's also been a time of incredible change considering that when Studio 1A was first unveiled, Katie and Bryant were asking "What is internet?"

The studio was also pioneering for its time back in the '90s.

"Everybody decided they had to get an outdoor studio,'' Al said. "Television is the sincerest form of flattery, so everybody copied us."

Nobody feels more at home with the fans out on Rockefeller Plaza than Al Roker, who has been with TODAY since the mid-90s. Nathan Congleton / TODAY

TODAY took a look back on Thursday at some of the memorable moments in the 25-year history of the studio and all the events on Rockefeller Plaza, from wacky Halloween costumes to a visit from former first lady Michelle Obama last year in celebration of International Day of the Girl.

"People come, and when they come, they want to celebrate,'' Savannah said.

TODAY also celebrated all the behind-the-scenes hard work that has gone into the yummy cooking segments at Studio 1A over the years. Nathan Congleton / TODAY

The anchors also provided a tour behind the scenes at Studio 1A, from the all-purpose "magic wall" to the makeup area to the prep kitchen where the food is prepared for the cooking segments.

Through all the years of smiling crowds, celebrity visits, great music and tasty food, Studio 1A has become a place that TODAY and its fans call home.

"The one thing that really has remained constant — it's still the same window,'' Al said. "People are still coming for the same reason. And they're still having a good time."