Designed by Chicago architect Walter W. Ahlschlager and opened in 1928, the 2,800-seat Beacon Theatre is a fantastic Art Deco treasure, built as silent pictures began talking and as vaudeville capitulated to the movie palace era. Recognized as a national landmark -- the interior remains legally protected from alteration and demolition -- the three-level auditorium is distinguished by 30-foot statues of Greek women on each side of the proscenium arch. Other features include an open-air lobby, bronze front doors, ornate moldings, white marble floors, and corridor murals depicting elephants, camels and traders.
Today, the Beacon�s chief reputation is as a fierce concert house where, amid a curtain-less stage and flawless acoustics, Patti LaBelle, Korn, Tina Turner, Morrissey, VH-1's 'Divas Live' have done their thing.
Cutting-edge hardcore bands, gospel singers and world music superstars rock the town here as well. The Beacon also often houses popular comedies geared toward African- American audiences, making it the favored Gotham stop along the Chitlin Circuit.