The Untold Story of How New York’s Beacon Theater was Saved

New York, N.Y. xxx


A story that revived the beacon theater


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Just before being broken, save the theater with a single crisis



I think that I am a really lucky person. If you want to do something, no matter how hard it is, you can “surely”. Things will move towards possible directions. Of course, I have experienced a lot of serious things, but I can finally do it. There is a lot of funny story that managed to manage something with a crisis even with one story of the Beacon Theater.


Dance company’s

Produced NY performances

At some point in the 1970’s, I was supposed to produce a dance company’s New York show called Alwin Nikolais, but I could not find the venue by all means. Although I kept searching, I heard that someone said “Beacon theater is on the upper west, it’s dirty” at such time.

I went to see it soon, I promised the performance in October and it was already June in that time, so I only have to decide here. So I paid a $ 10,000 deposit and went to Japan on a business trip to Japan from July to August. When I came back in September and went to the front of the theater, what a batten in the door. It says to be closed. I thought what this was, and when I went to the beacon hotel standing next to me, that guy had gone by the night.

It is said that it owes to the owner

People who thought that I was an owner were actually not owner, just a person borrowed by lease, that person had contracted with various places, but they took away all the contract fees and ran away! When I heard that the real owner was named Henry Moskovitz, so I went to see him and the building was already tattered, so I will be going to start demolishing the theater next week. At that time, I understood that the hotel is the owner of the beacon theater. 

The first floor is a supermarket and the second floor and the third floor are said to have a plan of a new building already after doing ah. Well, although it is such a nice theater, it certainly is getting old, but it is not going to be crushed! I told you. But it is told that co – owners ought to be crushed because they absolutely crush.

I could not give it up, I went to see you again the next day. So, I will sign a contract for 10 years, is it okay? You said that. I contracted for 10 years with a rental agreement of 15,000 dollars a month. That’s it, just a story about Kabuki came. Monkeyosuke want to come and see us in New York in September.

At that time, Leonard Bernstein (a composer of ‘West Side Story’) was constantly coming to my apartment. Play the piano that was in the living room, eat bagels, just annoy the story. Just as he came to play at this timing, he said, “What shall I do to save the theater somehow, but what shall I do?” When asked, “I will call you Grace.” I began calling by my phone shortly. If I thought about “I have friends like Grace,” I guess it is Grace Kelly of Princess Monaco. Can Bernstein “come up with a foundation (Foundation) to become a chairman?”) And come up with a great speed and propose it. Then Kelly replied “Yes.” In addition, Kelly asked me “I’m coming because I will make an opening event”, Mr. Kelly told me “Yes” again, I really came. I was really saved when he came to my apartment. The face at that time was amazing. Elizabeth Taylor and others. Very famous and influential people gave $ 1,000 each, and immediately they got 2 million dollars.

(Next January 13 issue posted)

Beacon Theater (Beacon Theater) The Beacon Theater is a 2,900-seat theater built in 1929 in the Upper West District. It is used in a wide range of applications, from movie screenings to performances such as concerts and theaters. In 1977, the owner crushed the theater and was about to start a new business, Mr. Tatsumura rescued the crisis and became a leading contributor to the theater. In 1976 he received designation from the NYC Landmarks Preservation Committee of New York City for preservation. Currently it is managed by Madison Square Garden Company, and in 2009 we made a second large renovation work.

Originally published as Vol. 8 in Weekly Biz, December 16, 2017; translated by Jim Luce.

See: Dr. Kazuko Hillyer Tatsumura Column in Japan’s Weekly Biz



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