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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.
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