Tag Archives: Walter W. Ahlschlager

Beacon Hotel and Theater

Beacon Hotel and Theater share a Broadway facade, but it’s the theater’s interior that keeps getting rave reviews. Conceived as part of the Roxy theater chain, the showplace was described by the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) as “…a lavish space with stylistic effects drawn from the traditions of Greek, Roman, Renaissance, and Rococo architecture.”

The buildings are a collaboration of Samuel L. Rothafel – better known as Roxy – and The Chanin Construction Company. LPC explains, “Undoubtedly pleased with the success of combining three theaters with the Hotel Lincoln, thereby providing common building services for all, the Chanins saw a combination theater-hotel structure to be a logical solution for the site.”

Alas, Roxy’s plans did not pan out. Warner Bros. Pictures wound up with the theater lease. The Beacon continued as a movie theater until 1974, when the programs switched to live performances. The LPC designated the interior a landmark in 1979. In 1986 developers wanted to convert the Beacon to a disco – plans that were halted by a judge who said the conversion would irreparably harm the landmark’s architecture. Madison Square Garden Entertainment’s parent company, Cablevision, leased the Beacon in 2006. Cablevision restored the theater at a reported cost of $10 million. Madison Square Garden Company now manages the Beacon.

P.S. It’s called Beacon Hotel because of an airplane beacon on the roof.

Beacon Hotel and Theater Vital Statistics
Beacon Hotel and Theater Recommended Reading

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