Beacon Theatre

2124 Broadway,
New York, NY 10023

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Showing 101 - 125 of 160 comments

LuisV
LuisV on November 16, 2006 at 5:38 pm

Maybe, I’m being naive, but since I was introduced to this site just over a year ago, I have read many a plea for people, corporations, cities, anyone who has money, to restore our old theaters; our old treasures. The reality is that there is not enough money to go around. Not enough of the old theaters are economically viable to warrant the investments needed. So I am thrilled that a corporation has stepped in with a long term lease and has agreed to spend “at least $10MM” on a renovation. It is $10MM more than anyone has offered and an upgrade is desperately needed. Again, maybe I’m naive, but I want to give the new leaseholders the benefit of the doubt. Who knows, maybe they’ll include a screen and schedule movies as part of the rotation of concerts and corporate events. I can dream and I will always remain an optimist.

William
William on November 16, 2006 at 1:24 pm

I think the Nokia Theatre is cutting into the MSG concert pie. With the Beacon Theatre in their line-up, that gives them the Garden, Radio City and the Theatre next to the garden (the Paramount). It sounds like what Warren just said it a “rejuvenation” for state of the art broadcasting.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on November 16, 2006 at 6:10 am

The usual trade-off… a lavish restoration in exchange for a new name that will either prove to be an exercise in vanity (the “Charles F. Dolan Theater”) or corporate advertisement (“Anheuser-Busch Auditorium”). I hope they keep the Beacon name, but I’ll accept the trade for a loving restoration job.

LuisV
LuisV on November 16, 2006 at 5:21 am

The Beacon is to receive a $10MM renovation beginning in 2008! The theater will be closed for up to 9 months while restoration is completed. The following appeared in Crain’s New York Business web site yesterday, 11/15/06. Great News!

From Crain’s:

Come January, the famed Beacon Theater will join the Cablevision
family of music venues, adding a relatively intimate 2,800 seat house to a performance space selection that includes the vastly larger Radio City Music Hall and Madison Square Garden.

“The Beacon completes our product line,” said Cablevision Systems Corp. Chief Executive James Dolan, at a press conference Wednesday at the Beacon.

News of Cablevision’s deal to sign a long-term lease for the theater was first reported in Crain’s New York Business.

Cablevision’s plans for the Beacon include broadening the range of offerings to include corporate events, and a minimum $10 million restoration that will begin in 2008. The Beacon will close its doors for the seven to nine months required for the work.

The landmark theater opened as a vaudeville house in 1928, and was last restored in 1974.

“[A renovation] is due,” Mr. Dolan said.

Terms of the lease were not disclosed. Mr. Dolan said Cablevision was not required by the lease to keep the Beacon name, but that no decision has been made to change it.

Mr. Dolan was joined at the press conference by legendary singer Gregg Allman, whose Allman Brothers Band has played the Beacon every year since the early 1990s.

“It’s not too big and it’s not too little,” Mr. Allman said of the theater, which is one of the last mid-sized venues left in New York.

Asked what he’d most like to see restored, Mr. Allman said, “The dressing rooms. They’re four flights up.”

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on November 7, 2006 at 8:41 am

Of course, I meant “your imbecilic comments” not “you’re imbecillic.” Bad enough my classroom deportment is called into question by Warren, I don’t need my academic achievements belittled as well.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on November 7, 2006 at 8:02 am

Really, Warren. Now who’s being childish? Lost posted a link to a flickr photo, as many of us have on this site, and you decided to go on the attack here. That was completely un-provoked. Not to mention that you’re imbecillic comments towards mikemovies might be construed as something of a threat. What rot! What rubbish! What bilge! I’m appalled and disgusted! And boggled! Harumph!

mikemorano
mikemorano on November 6, 2006 at 11:28 am

Well fella do you actually take the photo’s that you post. All you post lately are off topic and nasty comments. Perhaps you should take up a new hobby such as collecting butterfly’s.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on November 6, 2006 at 8:29 am

The Beacon is my favorite concert venue in NYC. I hope the Cablevision deal doesn’t mean certain artists or types of bands will no longer perform there. I find that ticket prices tend to vary from performer to performer. Fan friendly bands such as Dave Matthews, Phil Lesh and the Allmans tend to keep tickets in the $45-50 range while more commercial artists (ironically usually on corporate sponsored tours) spike that up towards $100 or more. I’d hate to see bands book elsewhere because of excessive fees and surcharges.

On the other hand, I’d love to see those murals on the auditoriums side walls restored to their original clarity. Legit theater owners get away with charging a nominal $1.00 fee on tickets to cover maintenance and renovation costs… but then, they have a chain of theaters and an eight-times-a-week performance schedule on which to draw revenue.

William
William on November 6, 2006 at 7:07 am

The Dolan’s of Cablevision & MSG fame have have finished talks and will take-over the operation of the Beacon Theatre on a long term lease soon. They plan to do some restoration work on the house. So look for some of the cost passed on to the ticket prices. In their plans they will use the house for corperate events and awards shows and concerts.

AlexNYC
AlexNYC on July 26, 2006 at 4:03 pm

Wow, great photos of the Beacon Theater, it is still a treasure. I recall seeing a couple of retro films here, first Giant, and then I believe a Marilyn Monroe double feature. I’ve seen several concerts over the years too.

Thanks for sharing EdSolero.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on May 14, 2006 at 5:12 pm

I reorganized my photobucket albums and the links to photos I posted back in February no longer work. Those photos are now located in this Beacon Theater album.

johnlauter
johnlauter on April 3, 2006 at 4:58 pm

I was in the Beacon in 1979, and we were able to play the mighty Wurlitzer, which I found to be the best theatre organ in manhattan—fantastic. The entire console was coated in coca-cola, a horrible sticky mess. The week before a dance troupe was performing there, They came in, “tested” the floor and pronounced it “too slippery”. They sent a lackey out to get 64 oz. (they weren’t 2 liter bottles then)bottles of coke, which they poured out on the stage and raised pit apron. The coke rained on the Wurlitzer console and everything was sticky. I sat on a paper grocery bag so that my pants wouldn’t stick to the bench. Some cretin had climbed down into the large ceiling centerpiece with a white spray bomb (aersol spray paint can) and painted some very rude, large grafitti on the ceiling. I have a photo of that I’ll post someday.

Jean
Jean on April 3, 2006 at 11:48 am

You may be right about the liocation. Perhaps you can even ask someone who works there. ( Who isn’t a teenager! ) :)

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on April 3, 2006 at 11:46 am

Next time I’m there, I’ll have to poke around the lobby a bit. I wonder if it was located in the rotunda on the right wall (as you come in) between the opening for the mezzanine stairs and the main entrance doors?

Jean
Jean on April 3, 2006 at 11:08 am

I don’t recall the exact location but do seem to recall it was on the right side somewhere on the main floor. Anyone else?

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on April 3, 2006 at 11:06 am

Jean… Can’t say I’ve ever seen it, but then I’ve only been going to the Beacon as a concert venue since the ‘80’s. Do you remember where it was? Was it in the rotunda? Or beyond that in the foyer perhaps against the back wall where the stairs leading to the lower lounge are located?

Jean
Jean on April 3, 2006 at 10:46 am

I used to go to the Beacon when I was a little girl, to watch a double bill of movies. Here is my question… What happened to the large marble fountain containing a cupid or nymph? I am talking about the early to mid 1960’s and later. Anyone?

JimRankin
JimRankin on April 3, 2006 at 9:07 am

Ziggy: Very likely the Archive of the Theatre Historical Society can help you as to other works by Ahlschlager, since he was a Chicago native; they are at: www.historictheatres.org

I do know of one job of his that never got off the ground here in Milwaukee; he is listed by the Wisconsin Architectural Archive as the “Consultant” on a proposed job by the local firm Eschweiler and Company in the 1920s. It is their file #011235, in case you might want to contact them as to what drawings or renderings might be in that file or what they may have otherwise found under Ahlschlager’s name since I learned of this file circa 1990. They are in our Central Library building, on the second floor off of the rotunda entry at: 814 W. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53233 (414) 286-3897. They are often closed, so a phone call may not work as well for you as might a letter of inquiry. Were it not for my failing health, I would go the 15 miles there and do the looking for you. They also have the blueprints/drawings of some 80 other theatres in 4 other states and Canada as well, and can have any print copied/mailed for you for a fee. Best Wishes.

Ziggy
Ziggy on March 22, 2006 at 10:52 am

After looking at these photos I have to say that Mr. Ahlschlager was quite the architect. Did he design any other theatres besides the Roxy, the Belmont, and the Beacon? His treatment of theatre interiors is completely different from most movie palace architects. His theatres (at least the three that I’m aware of) all seem to have a sense of solidity, and almost solemnity, combined with a large helping of romance. They seem more dreamlike than other theatres. I admire the way the Beacon’s auditorium is designed to look like some sort of tent-roofed pavilion, with the columns flanking the stage and lining the sidewalls disappearing into the “canvas” above, reaching up to heights that can only be imagined since they can never be actually seen.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on March 22, 2006 at 4:47 am

As I stated earlier, I think the place might have been recently repainted for the premier of “Walk the Line” this past November. The place is certainly cleaner and brighter than I can recall from concerts I attended a couple of years ago. I was actually there again last night for the Allman Brothers. I couldn’t say how closely the color scheme adheres to the original, but it seems pretty authentic to me. Lots of earth tones plus the red hues of the carpet and tent effect in the auditorium and green in the rear ceiling over the upper balcony. Of course, to be off by even just a shade or two can make a significant difference in ambience.

Ziggy
Ziggy on March 21, 2006 at 11:12 am

Thanks for the great photos Edsolero. Is the paint job in the rotunda touched up? I had a hard time telling whether the color scheme looked original or not. Some parts looked like they were still the original color, and other areas I couldn’t tell. Next time I visit New York I’ll have to check and see if I can’t get into this place. I had heard a lot about how the rotunda in this theatre was supposed to be a smaller version of the Roxy rotunda, but, other than the chandeliers being similar in style, I don’t see any resemblance.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on March 20, 2006 at 9:08 am

If you look carefully in both photos, just above where the marquee meets the building facade, you will see one of the cables that holds up the marquee anchored to the masonry. I would say that – as with so many other theaters – the 1950’s or 1960’s era boxy marquee in the 1997 photo was built out over the original seen in the 1930 shot. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the original frame is still there supporting the current marquee.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on March 20, 2006 at 6:56 am

Great photos, Lost Memory. I remember that old marquee, but haven’t seen it in close to 10 years.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on March 5, 2006 at 2:20 pm

I was watching a feature on the Fox Movie Channel earlier today about the premier of last year’s “Walk the Line” – which was held here at the Beacon Theater. I wonder if that might explain why the place appeared a bit cleaner and brighter when I attended those concerts last month. The paint certainly appeared to be a fairly fresh coat and there was a bit more luster than I recall from my last visit back in 2003. I also got to wondering about how many times the Beacon has been host to movie premiers over the years… particularly in recent decades since movies have been pushed aside in favor of live concerts at the theater.

Anyone have any information about that?

EcRocker
EcRocker on February 21, 2006 at 4:26 pm

NIce pics Ed. Really nice. One thing I can sauy is that I never say the Beacon so bright on the inside when I was working shows back in the mid 70’s. As i stated in another post I love the place but the stage and the rest of the theatre is at an angle. The stage Left side is not as deep as the stage right side and because of that most live concerts have to have equipment loaded in and out during set changes.