Tuesday, February 17, 2009

More Restored Theaters..The Beacon..New York City....

Designated a landmark in 1979, the 2,800-seat Beacon Theatre has undergone a $16 million restoration, and earlier today the final look of their 7-month-long project was unveiled. Thanks to the work of thousands, the venue "is back to its original 1929 grandeur, fulfilling the commitment the company made to New York when it acquired the theatre in November, 2006." A full list of restorations can be found after the jump, and the NY Times has a cute story about an old gold-painted coffee tin discovered during the facelift and found to be the fixture supporting "the principal ornament at the tip of the 900-pound chandelier in the rotunda" (pictured here).

The folks at the Beacon gave us a little history lesson, noting the venue was originally "the brainchild of famed theater impresario Samuel 'Roxy' Rothafel. In 1927 noted Architect Walter Ahlschlager was commissioned to design the theater, named the 'Roxy’s Midway', for live vaudeville and silent film presentations. Shortly after the theater was completed, it was taken over by Warner Brothers and remodeled to accommodate talking pictures which became the rage in 1929. It was at this time that the theater was renamed the Warner Brothers Beacon Theatre." Of course, these days it's best known for the music, playing host to the likes of Paul Simon and Leonard Cohen during the upcoming calendar year.