While the Beacon is not on my List of Theaters, once I got there, I realized I had never actually been, having oddly confused it with the smaller venue Symphony Space (also on Broadway, although twenty blocks north) (any location I visited in the first six months after moving to New York tend to blur together by genre only). My foolishness and faulty memory checked, I got to really enjoy a lovely theater space.
The Beacon Theatre, located at 74th and Broadway, is a sister theater to Radio City Music Hall, under the management umbrella of the Madison Square Garden Company. It opened in 1929, owned by Warner Brothers, and was actually a movie theater up through the seventies. In the mid-seventies, two dudes named Steven and Stephen decided to update it slightly and use it as a live performance space. Since then, has been largely used as a concert venue, although it is IMAX-capable. George Carlin’s HBO specials were taped there, Cirque du Soleil has performed there, David Bowie and the Stones have played there (not at the same time), and the Allman Brothers Band have famously played there every year but one for nineteen years up until their final ever show. It’s thrice been a home stage for the Tony Awards (including 2016 Tony Awards, which you may remember fondly as “that time Hamilton won everything”).
The decor is neo-Grecian, which translates to “all the big gold statues you can handle, then make them bigger and more gold”. 30 feet tall, to be precise. All in all, it’s a really pretty space to keep you visually entertained while you wait for your paid entertainment to start.
And as requested, information about the bathrooms! There are two that I could find, on the ground floor and up on the “balcony” two staircases up. They are not large, but relatively out of the way. It’s also worth noting that if you purchase a bottled beverage, they give it to you without the cap. No carbonation sounds here!