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 153 comments)

oldjoe
oldjoe on December 1, 2010 at 9:24 am

Luis – the United Palace is a beautiful theatre, but it is not highly successful as a concert venue, despite the hype. The Allmans cancelled mulitple shows there this year. Another Greg Allman quote from Rolling Stone article. “Last March was a glamorous place and all that, but the location of it was — well, we won’t go into that,“ Gregg Allman said at the press conference. "Somebody told me the cab ride cost more than the ticket.”

The United Palace website has info about one past concert in October and one past concert in November – no upcoming events scheduled. The Beacon has 10 acts booked December according to their website – that is successful. I hope the UP does better in future, I’ve been there and it is stunning.

William – Radio City And Beacon are run by Madision Square Garden, not Clearview. Even when MSG was part of Cablevision and not its own publicly traded company; Clearview had nothing to do with operation of either venue.

William
William on December 1, 2010 at 9:42 am

I got clearview and cablevision mixed up.

LuisV
LuisV on December 1, 2010 at 10:44 am

oldjoe, I stand by my comment. The United Palace does have a very successful track record over the years of holding successful concerts including a great many sell outs. That said, of course there is no comparison to the Beacon as a concert venue due to its location. Also, lets not forget that the United Palace’s main function is NOT a concert hall. It operates primarily as a church. The Beacon’s sole purpose is as a concert/performance space. As theaters go, the Loews’s 175th is much better than the Beacon and that is great praise as the Beacon is a beautiful theater in its own right, but the Loews……

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

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