The Beacon Theater is a gorgeous, fully restored landmark Art Deco theater that was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. A quick walk from the subway station at West 72nd Street, the Beacon has been a favorite New York City stop for top acts since the Roaring Twenties.
The theater was designed by Chicago architect Walter Ahlschlager in 1929 as a forum for vaudeville acts, musical productions, drama, opera, and movies and the original sound-system from the ‘20s still provides near-perfect acoustics today. Many of the greatest names in music have played the Beacon, including the Rolling Stones, Jerry Garcia, Aerosmith, Michael Jackson, James Taylor, Radiohead, and Queen.
From 1989 to 2009, this 2,600 seat, triple-tier theater was the home-away-from-home for The Allman Brothers, who held an annual spring concert series there known as “The Beacon Run.” They performed 188 sold-out shows at the Beacon, before finally being kicked out to make room for Cirque du Soleil. That may have pissed off a legion of Allman Brothers fans but it hasn’t stopped the Beacon from continuing to host great musical artists, from Massive Attack to the Steve Miller Band.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama chose the Beacon Theatre as the site of his teaching classes in August 1999. President Bill Clinton celebrated his 60th birthday celebration at the Beacon with a private Rolling Stones concert in 2006. Whether you want to party like a president or sit in worshipful awe of your favorite musical artist, the Beacon is not to be missed during a music lover’s trip to NYC.