A Brand New Beacon, Ready for the Spotlight

A brightly-gilded Beacon Theater re-opens today, with a brand new sound system and a restored canvas mural in the Neo-classical rotunda. When the Beacon first opened in 1928, it was host to New York's vaudeville acts. It went on to become one of the city's top venues for rock musicians -- Queen, Radiohead and Michael Jackson have all played the hall. (And WNYC's Morning Editor Patricia Willens and I saw Lyle Lovett there just before it closed for renovation back in June). Paul Simon christens the space this weekend with two nights of shows. The renovation took 7 months and cost $16 million. The Beacon is owned by MSG entertainment, which also runs Madison Square Garden.