Beacon Theatre

2124 Broadway,
New York, NY 10023

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Beacon - Who's That Knocking

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The Beacon Theatre was opened on December 24, 1929 and was designed by architect Walter W. Ahlschlager who also designed the Roxy Theatre.

Until 1986, the Beacon Theatre was the largest surviving picture palace in Manhattan.

In 1986, the Beacon Theatre was bought by new owners who announced plans to convert the theatre to a discotheque, thus altering the original 2,657 person seating capacity of the theater.

In 1989 the Beacon Theatre was designated a national landmark and is now on the Register of Historic Places.

Despite opposition by the general community, the Beacon Theatre was granted permission by the city landmarks commission to convert the building’s interior to a nightclub.

The Beacon Theatre now hosts concerts, and the theatre ‘starred’ in Martin Scorsese’s documentary “Shine a Light” about the Rolling Stones 2006 shows at the theatre.

In November 2006, Madison Square Garden Entertainment(MSG), a division of Cablevision, began operating the Beacon Theatre under a twenty year lease from the Beacon Broadway Company, which has long owned the theatre. After a seven month, $16 million restoration, the Beacon Theatre reopened February 13, 2009 with concerts by Paul Simon. New dressing rooms, a maple stage floor and new air conditioning were installed. Pain was removed from the Broadway ticket booth to reveal brass, glass and marble. Original murals were restored or replicated. 2,100 square yards of wool carpet in gold, yellow, green and maroon was replicated after a remnant was discovered. New draperies with gold tassels replaced long gone originals.

Contributed by Howard B. Haas

Recent comments (view all 156 comments)

Patsy
Patsy on June 12, 2011 at 5:49 pm

The 2011 Tony Award Show is coming from the Beacon tonight and it is an awesome theatre..thanks to the television crew for featuring its beauty with their wide angle shots.

Mikeoaklandpark
Mikeoaklandpark on June 13, 2011 at 11:10 am

Great looking theater. It looks very much like an old time theater. Great show last night. Even though it is much smaller than Radio City, it was great for the Tony awards.

Simon Overton
Simon Overton on November 2, 2011 at 5:24 pm

Last night I watched “Conan” TWICE (11pm & 1pm), just to drink-in the fabulous stage and double balconies! The lighting and camera shots were superb but I was disappointed NOT to see the beautiful curtains used -as they do so from his L.A. show. Will some please call and put the word in the stage managers ear… I’ll be hopefully watching.

NedMerrill
NedMerrill on November 21, 2012 at 6:12 am

The theater also appears in Scorsese’s first feature, WHO’S THAT KNOCKING AT MY DOOR.

Mikeoaklandpark
Mikeoaklandpark on November 21, 2012 at 8:54 am

It has been the home to the Tony awards for the past 2 years.

laurence
laurence on September 8, 2013 at 4:30 pm

When I lived in NYC in the 1960s I used to go to the Beacon frequently – it still showed films then. Although a bit run-down, it was still a beautiful film palace, one of the last in the city. It is heartening to learn of its restoration. Alas, too bad about the splendid Broadway Paramount – another beautiful theater converted to offices. Too bad they could not have restored that one also!

moviebuff82
moviebuff82 on October 28, 2014 at 12:50 pm

See my comment on radio city…msg entertainment stock will be a good investment

MarkDHite
MarkDHite on April 18, 2016 at 7:16 pm

Is anyone familiar with the current status of the Beacon’s great Wurlitzer organ? Is it playable/actually played. I’ve read that the console has been buried underneath a stage extension since the 2008 renovation. (Not unlike the Beacon’s sister Roxy Theatre’s Kimball. Fortunately, the Beacon’s organ’s pipes speak from chambers above the stage, not below it as at the Roxy.) Thanks.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on June 12, 2016 at 9:07 pm

Looking gorgeous on tonight’s Tony Awards…

ERD
ERD on July 3, 2016 at 10:02 am

The Beacon was originally supposed to be one of theatres in a Roxy movie chain backed by William Fox. I am so glad it has been basically restored to its original condition.

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