Beacon Theatre

2124 Broadway,
New York, NY 10023

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Showing 126 - 150 of 160 comments

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on February 21, 2006 at 1:58 pm

I caught a couple of the recent Phil Lesh & Freinds shows at the Beacon earlier this month and took the opportunity to grab a few photos of this fantastic venue:

Outside ticket booth
Outer vestibule fixture
Rotunda ceiling
Rotunda wall
These windows look onto Rotunda from loge and balcony foyers
Stairwell to upper tiers from Rotunda
Rotunda painting over ticket-lobby entrance
Rotunda chandelier
Lobby torchier at Rotunda/Foyer entryway
Main foyer light fixture
Lower Lounge ceiling medallion
Lower Lounge light fixture
Rotunda ceiling detail (from loge foyer overlook)
Rotunda chandelier (from loge foyer overlook)
View of left side wall from upper balcony
Proscenium from upper balcony
Right side wall from upper balcony
Ceiling over upper balcony
Upper balcony fixture
Ceiling centerpiece from mid balcony
Lion/Mural over loge exit
Proscenium Goddess (from orchestra floor)
Left orchestra exit archway
Ceiling centerpiece from orchestra floor
Balcony tiers & projection booth from dead center stage
Longer view of tiers & projection booth
Ceiling centerpiece looking up from lip of stage
Loge facade bas relief
Loge overhang from rear orchestra
Right orchestra exit archway from loge
Exit archway detail
Left side wall & proscenium from loge
Proscenium Goddess (right side)
Balcony overhang from loge

As you can see, I took a pretty exhaustive photo-tour of the place (at least its public spaces) while there those two nights. You will also see from the photos that feature the projection booth that the booth is not off center – as some have claimed. Or, if it is, it is ever slightly so. I took those two photos from deadcenter 1st row in front of the stage and it looks like a dead-on shot to the portholes (it is one hell of a steep projection angle, however). The thing that makes it look uneven is that the backwall of the balcony area is not symmetrical. This is due largely to the catty corner orientation of the auditorium within the trapezoidal city block on which the theater is situated.

Great theater and a great couple of shows (particularly Wednesday night). This is my current favorite place to see a live show. Never saw a movie here.

s2944cab on January 8, 2006 at 3:05 pm

hey east coast – We’re on LBI, where are you?
As soon as I saw the name I remembered hearing of Mel…I never met him. I knew Leibert, Jack Ward, and Jimmy Paulin at RCMH in those days, used to visit a lot.
Ron Delsener – I remember hearing that on WABC in those days a lot. Remember the ads for Murry the K shows at the Brooklyn Fox? I used the think they were saying Brooklyn Box, sad misguided surburan Jersey kid. dave.

EcRocker on January 8, 2006 at 2:35 pm

Hi NJshore. I was posting over at the RCMH forum with DenPiano. who works there. The man who used to maintain the Beacons Mighty “W” his name was/is Mel Robinson. He also used to maint ain the “W"s at the Sports complex that used to be the Brooklyn Paramount as well ass The NY Academy of Music. When I was working for Ron Delsener they were no longer showing movies. One day when I have the time and money I want to drive up to the city and just soak in some old memories but every time I turn around things i used to remember when I lived there are gone.

s2944cab on January 8, 2006 at 2:08 pm

1974 – I am pretty sure the Beacon was still doing movies then, I could be off. I was one of the organists there at the “end”. There were several of us, I played every two-three weeks for about a year. We would play at the intermission around 8 or 9 when the last Saturday movie started, then return to close the house. The organ, yes a ‘mighty Wurlitzer’ was a major pain to play. The pipe chambers are way up above the stage and speak straight out into the balcony (which is huge) so by the time the sound gets down to you at the organ its like three days later. LOL. Try that after going out drinking and then coming back to play the close. Whoever was doing the organ maintenance was really doing a great job, the organ in those days had nearly everthing working, even Radio City couldnt say that in those days. Riding the lift up while playing was a real treat too.
I was glad to see above that WB redid the interior cause i could never figure out how that place could have been a ‘little Roxy’. It is definately a Rapp & Rapp atmospheric. The stage is flanked by two massive figures which are Moorish guards, holding spears. (I cant recall if they were male or female, sorry.) The spears at the top held open a tent, which formed the proscenium over the stage. (The organ chambers were up there behind the I think red and white striped “tent”). I too recall the murals as being totally obscured. The effect out in the house was like sitting out in the open air looking into a tent.
The only movie i recall playing for was “Cinderella Liberty”. I cant forget that cause while sitting at the organ waiting with the lift near the top, near the end of the movie, a pregnant character’s water breaks, and it was right over my head. My wife has never stopped laughing at me for nearly jumping off the console for that one.
The Beacon had a ‘contour curtain’ like the Music Hall. The stage hands would set the curtain up to frame the organist while you played. Really cool! Oh, and some roaches lived in the console, every so often one would come out while playing, that was fun too.
It all ended with the world premier of “The Three Musketeers” starring Rachel Welch, Michael York, Richard Chaimberland. The new management was nice enough to give the organists tickets for that night, but sadly they stopped using the organ not long after that.

EcRocker on January 6, 2006 at 9:07 pm

When Howard Stein decided to get out of the promotions gig and left the Academy of Music on 14th street some of us that worked for him moved uptown to the Beacon. This was about 1974. Don’t shoot me if I am wrong on the year. Ron did leave the Beacon for a short period when he took over the Academy of Music and changed the name to Palladium. Ron left there and came back to the Beacon again. When I was working the shows there was an elevator that went to the top floor dressing rooms. In the 70’s it was not working. It was a real pain having to find someone when most of the lower dressing rooms were being occupied. From what I gather the elevator is now running. The stage is also at an angle where it is narrow on stage right and deeper stage left. The whole building is on an agle. This was another theatre where road cases had to get unpacked and then rolled back on to the trucks. Although I can’t play anything but the radio I did have a chance to play around on the “Mighty Wurlitzer” when it was it under going regular maintainance. I wish I did know how to play it. I also in my life ha the chance to mess around on both of the consoles at Radio City as well.

The theatre did leave a marlk on me though. During a multi day performance of Genisis post Peter gabrial days i was in the back stage alley and was asked to pick up some beer cans that were under a wrought iron fire escape stairs. As i was picking one up I stepped back and hit a can and I then hit my head on the stairs and had to get about 20 stitches.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on November 4, 2005 at 7:31 am

The comments in the opening are a bit misleading… the Beacon is still very much set up as a theater rather than a nightclub. When I think of a nightclub, I think of a tables and chairs with a dance-floor. The stage has a rounded lip that might have meant the removal of seats in the first few center rows of the orchestra, but other than this the interior seems to be intact. The local opposition had more to do with rowdy rock-concert crowds streaming through the neighborhood back to their cars then it did with any alterations to the theater itself.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on November 4, 2005 at 7:25 am

“Art Deco” is probably the last phrase I’d use to describe any of the architectural styles or motifs of the Beacon. The interior is certainly far too baroque to be termed Art Deco, as described in those virtualnyc photos. I’ve always thought of those statues on either side of the stage more like sentries than Godesses. Aren’t they each holding a long spear in front of them and maybe even a sheild close to their breasts? It’s been a couple of years since I last took a close look.

billmetz on October 21, 2005 at 10:57 am

the four photos are fine, however does anyone have a photo of the interior including the “golden goddess staues flanking the stage”

billmetz on October 21, 2005 at 6:03 am

any chance that perhaps someone has a photo of the interior…must have been beautiful

RobertR on June 30, 2005 at 5:28 pm

The Beacon along with Trans-Lux 85th St. were the Manhattan outlets for the first Premiere Showcase in 1962.

View link

uncleal923 on June 3, 2005 at 8:56 pm

What’s coming up this Summer at the Beacon? What are the concert dates?

RobertR on June 3, 2005 at 1:12 pm

I have an ad from April 22,1972 for Brandts Beacon. They were advertising “The Return of the Greatest Family Entertainment of All Time”…..The Ten Commandments. All seats were $1 Monday to Thursday and $1.50 Friday to Sunday. Was commandments coming of a re-release or did the Beacon just revive it for the Easter holiday?

hardbop on April 11, 2005 at 10:13 am

I haven’t seen any films here, but have attended several jazz concerts and I noticed on my tickets stubs that I was being charged a $1 “facility fee” on top of the ticket price. Maybe they could use the proceeds from this “facility fee” to clean up the murals. I did see that Rolling Stones giant screen film back in the eighties or nineties or whenever it came out. I remember they temporarily ripped out some seats to put in equipment.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on March 31, 2005 at 10:52 am

On May 9, 1967 the Beacon Theatre did a gala tribute to actress Gloria Swanson. Swanson addressed the fervent packed house. Two of her films were shown: Von Stroheim’s “Queen Kelly” (including unseen out-takes fron Swanson’s collection) and Edmund Goulding’s 1929 “The Trespasser.” For the silent “Queen Kelly,” organ accompaniment was provided by Lee Erwin. Here are two photos I took.
View link
View link

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on March 29, 2005 at 12:33 pm

Wayyy back in 2003 – when I first discovered this wonderful web-site – I posted about this theater and the sad state of those murals just over the exits at the side of the stage. I wonder if anyone has information as to what it is they are supposed to depict. I read in these posts that they were painted by a Danish artist named Valdemar Kjoldgaard… but I can find nothing on their content. The images rendered upon them are murky at best. A proper cleaning and restoration is in order. And as for rumors of this theater’s impending demise, I can’t invest much stock in those. The upcoming concert calendar is as full as it’s ever been, including the annual stretch of shows performed each spring by The Allman Brothers Band.

makemycake on February 24, 2005 at 1:08 am

To Whom It May Concern,
The marketing/promotional team at MAKE MY CAKE BAKERY ()would like to communicate with the management team at the BEACON THEATRE(NYC). We would like to provide our baked goods to the Staff of the Beacon and to Steve Harvey at no charge.Saturday ,the 26th of Febuary, is the schedualed date of Mr.Harvey’s performance. Today is the 24th,MAKE MY CAKE is ‘ready-set’. We await the BEACON’S ‘go’!

reggie on January 25, 2005 at 10:36 am

aaahh the Beacon!!!

so much has been left out in the above comments. although it is indeed true that those beautiful murals have become quite blackened by the smoking of what can be rolled by hand. the Beacon is, probably the only place in New York, and probably the US, where smoking marijuana is not only legal, but practicaly a requirment.

anyway, the Beacon… or should i say Beacon Theatre, is, and has been, the home of the cream of mid size rock concerts since the close of the Fillmore in the early 1970’s. Beacon, along with the old Academy of Music on 14th Street were run by the same promoter (whose name fails me at the moment). sometime in the late 1970’s John Scher of Metropolitan Entertainment took it over until sometime in the 1980’s when Ron Delsner became the promoter. today Clear Channel have there hand in there although Metopolitan continue to promote shows there.

but what is probabaly most important is that it is without a doubt the finest venue to enjoy a “rock concert”. Beacon audience… best audience anywhere.

the room has been our little club house for the psychedelic experence since the demise of the 60’s. acts such as the Grateful Dead and Hot Tuna being among the highlights. the Beacon continues to present surviving members of such acts. the energy of those bygone days haunt the auditorium to this day.

originally being from NYC myself i attended concerts there from the inception. nights… chaos would rein. i was personally held up at gunpoint by the bouncers at the door. a peace was brokered over time and my friends and i were allowed in without tickets for a good two decades. we saw (without seats) nearly every act to come through the joint. but forget about the scene at the door (if one were a cute young lady she might be permitted entrance without a ticket as well) utter pandemonium would break out as the acts would rock the auditorium to it’s foundations.

reggie on January 25, 2005 at 9:54 am

Beacon Theatre has a fairly full calender of events scheduled for 2005.

uncleal923 on January 6, 2005 at 7:54 pm

Is the Beacon set to close? I heard a rumor.

Bruno on October 8, 2004 at 10:05 pm

Broadway side of the building, and was directly above (albeit 5 stories up) the Beacon Theatre’s marquee. My friend was usually too lazy to take out his trash, so he would often just open his living room window and drop his bag of trash out— which would land on the top of the marquee. Needless to say, there was quite a load of garbage on top of the marquee, though it was not visable to street level passers-by. We frequented the theatre at least once a wekk in those days— it usually showed second run films, or first-runs of low-budget exploitation and/or cult films.

Of all the films saw there, the one I remember most is Russ Meyer’s “Vixens”. …and I occasionally wonder if the hotel ever discovered the source of the many bags of trash that topped the theatre marquee.

Camden on July 17, 2004 at 5:21 pm

Saw George Carlin’s HBO special back around ‘98 or so there, and it was his pinnacle, at least so far. His anti-religiosity and excoriation of the worship of children in this society were (and are) electrifying. Carlin usually does his HBO shows at the Beacon. His 2001 show wasn’t remotely as good as the one before, or the one before that, but perhaps 9/11 occurring shortly before had something to do with that.


nycmovieplace on June 22, 2004 at 8:59 am

The lobby is a ¼ scale version of the original Roxy'x Grand Foyer. This was the only space completed when the Roxy people ran out of money. The layout is the same as the original Roxy but much smaller.

Jean on June 9, 2004 at 1:26 pm

I still have a rain check given to me by the manager of the Beacon Theatre way back in the early 70’s. The ticket would have entitled me to see and hear the newly renovated theatre organ, but it was not to be. The concert was cancelled.

VincentParisi on April 13, 2004 at 12:54 pm

The Times Square theater owners were correct. The showcasing of films which started at this time helped lead to the decline of Times Square and the neglect and ultimate destruction of these magnificent New York buildings. The prestige however limped along to the end of the 60’s but by 1970 Times Square, then seedy and depressing, no longer had the glamour it had even two years before when all the houses had roadshow product. I remember the marquees from that Christmas of ‘68 and there was still an air of exitement among the the Square’s movie and theater going crowds.

Manwithnoname on April 13, 2004 at 11:47 am

In the newly released set of Pink Panther films, the disc of “A Shot in the Dark” contains a photo of this theater hosting the premiere. The marquee reads Brandt’s Beacon.