Palace Theatre

1564 Broadway,
New York, NY 10036

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Showing 226 - 249 of 249 comments

chconnol
chconnol on June 13, 2005 at 9:53 am

Ah…that’s what I figured, that it had to have been The Palace.

Thanks!

DonRosen
DonRosen on June 13, 2005 at 9:06 am

The RKO Palace. No one else would open. Hearst scared everyone away.

chconnol
chconnol on June 13, 2005 at 7:51 am

I have no idea where to post this question but does anyone know where in NYC “Citizen Kane” had it’s premiere?

Benjamin
Benjamin on June 13, 2005 at 6:23 am

I think the Palace “really” permanently reopened as a “legit” Broadway theater with the opening of “Sweet Charity” on January 29, 1966. If I recall correctly, it was the Nederlander (?) organization’s first New York theater, and at that time they were trying to break into the New York theater scene.

It seems to me that from this point on, the Palace has always been primarily a “legit” theater with, mostly musicals like “Henry Sweet Henry” (1967), “George M” (1968) “Applause” (1970), Lorelei (1974) being booked into the house.

There is an apparently complete list of “legit” shows that have played at this theater at the Internet Broadway Database website. Here’s a link:

http://www.ibdb.com/venue.asp?ID=1317

RobertR mentions that the Palace also occasionally played movies between “Sweet Charity” and the late 1970’s. I don’t remember this — although it is certainly possible. My guess, though, is that if it did play movies, it was as a special event or a limited engagement and not because the theater owners were back in the movie business. I say this (and it’s only a guess), because after “Sweet Charity,” it seemed to me that the Palace was considered one of Broadway’s “prime” theaters, especially for musicals.

By the way, as a teenager, I stood outside the Palace on its “opening” (as a Broadway theater) night, just to see what it would be like. I vaguely recall also standing outside some other Broadway theaters on other opening nights too (at least until late afternoon or very early in the evening) to see what they were like, and the few that I “attended” were somewhat low-keyed and disappointing. The opening for “Sweet Charity” (and its “new” Broadway theater) however, was a “classic” opening night. I suspect this was because the people connected with the show were considered Broadway “royalty” (Verdon, Fosse, Fields, Simon, Coleman, etc.) and because of the special “fabled” nature of the “new” theater being premiered as a “legit” Broadway playhouse.

For a minute or two, the people standing next to me observing this scene was a young actor-singer whom I had seen on, if I recall correctly, the “Tonight” show and a friend (or agent). The actor-singer was the then up-and-coming John Davidson.

RobertR
RobertR on June 13, 2005 at 4:57 am

I just found an ad from Hitchcocks “Frenzy” in July of 1972 and it opened Universal Blue Ribbon Showcase at the Palace which was advertised as Pacific DI’s Palace.

uncleal923
uncleal923 on June 12, 2005 at 5:07 pm

When did Aida close? I wanted to see it, but never did.

RobertR
RobertR on June 10, 2005 at 5:09 pm

The Palace went back and forth many times in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s between live theatre and film. By the late 70’s it was only live theatre.

uncleal923
uncleal923 on May 20, 2005 at 3:50 pm

When did the Palace become a Broadway Theatre?

RobertR
RobertR on May 20, 2005 at 8:50 am

Here is a marquee shot from the movie years.

teecee
teecee on April 14, 2005 at 1:10 pm

Filming location for All That Jazz (1979).

DonRosen
DonRosen on January 16, 2005 at 1:54 am

Yes. Ben-Hur ran on two shows a day for a few months at the Palace during a re-release, followed by the roadshow of GOODBYE MR. CHIPS.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 15, 2005 at 5:37 pm

Don:

Was there a roadshow re-release of Ben Hur? I remember seing it in my suburban L.A. neighborhood theater before I graduated from high school in 1962.

DonRosen
DonRosen on January 15, 2005 at 5:22 pm

Robert R…

VALLEY OF THE DOLLS played at the Criterion in 1967. The Palace reopened as a movie Theatre in 1969 with a double bill of A STRANGER IN TOWN and THE STRANGER RETURNS. Soon after, BEN-HUR roadshowed here in 1969.

Dorothy
Dorothy on December 19, 2004 at 3:37 am

According to a friend her parents vaudeville act The Parisian Four performed here along with Burnes & Allen.. they also did the circuits of Balabum & Katz and Pantages.. starting out in theatres approx 1918 (pre vaudeville) and continuing up to about 1940 in various venues

irajoel
irajoel on December 11, 2004 at 7:10 am

As a child in the 50’s I went to the Palace several times. Vaudeville was still being done as late as 1956. I saw Four Girls in Town and remember some tacky vaudeville acts were also on the bill. Also remember seeing two reserved seats pics there The Diary Of Anne Frank and Judgment At Nuremberg. The other big reserve seat film at the time of Judgement was West Side Story at the Rivoli. The last time I went to the palace was in 67 to see Judy Garland.

uncleal923
uncleal923 on November 22, 2004 at 7:48 pm

I went to see Beauty and the Beast at the Palace after it first opened. I met someone there from, I think, Playbill Magazine. He told me that the Doubletree Hotel, or whatever they call it nowadays, that was built over the theater does not touch the theater’s roof. I think that’s a real feat of engineering.

RobertR
RobertR on September 15, 2004 at 8:13 pm

I was recently here again to see AIDA. This place is maintained immaculately. This is one of the few theatres that New York should be proud of.

ERD
ERD on June 24, 2004 at 8:15 pm

As I child, I remember going to the Palace and seeing movies with the 8 act vaudeville shows. Later on I saw many musicals at this theatre. I also recall sitting in the top balcony-which like many other theatres of that era was known as the “nose bleed” section. What a difference experience as compared to sitting the in the orchestra! How fortunate a way was found to save this theatre- even though the original facade was destroyed.

RobertR
RobertR on April 9, 2004 at 9:02 am

Wow I never heard that before, I do know that one time I walked up to that very top balcony which I believe has not been used since La Cage Aux Folles was selling out. It was sooooooo high up and only offered a parrtial view. I am trying to recall if the booth was above or below that level.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on April 9, 2004 at 6:58 am

The Palace was a reserved-seat movie house for a few years, starting perhaps with “The Bridge on the River Kwai.” After seeing it there, I never returned because the projection left much to be desired, perhaps due to the fact that the theatre wasn’t built for movies. The booth that was installed later was so high up that the screen had to be tilted towards it.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on April 8, 2004 at 2:34 pm

The first movie I ever saw in New York was at the Palace, THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK in August, 1959.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on April 8, 2004 at 2:08 pm

The first attempt at reviving vaudeville at the Palace was in 1949, when RKO circuit chief Sol Schwartz noticed the popularity of variety shows on newfangled TV and guessed rightly that plenty of people would rather see the same type of entertainment “live.” He switched the Palace from first-run movie house to a policy of 8 acts of vaudeville, with a “B” movie thrown in to give the entertainers a break between shows. None of the performers were big stars, but many had been headliners in the heyday of vaudeville. Programs changed weekly and were such an enormous success that RKO started the same policy at some of its key theatres in other cities. Results were varying, but the Palace held on for about two years before the novelty wore off. It was then that Schwartz returned the Palace to its traditional vaudeville policy, starting with Judy Garland, who headlined a bill that also included other “acts.”

RobertR
RobertR on April 8, 2004 at 10:35 am

One of the first attempts to return the Palace to its live roots happened in 1951. Sid Luft booked Judy Garland who had recently been let go by MGM for a 4 week engagement of concerts. Not only did Judy sell out those 4 weeks, the run was extended 26 weeks to sold out mobs. This is considered the engagement that turned Judy Garland from a movie star into a living legend. Judy returned again in 1956 and again finally in 1967. She always considered The Palace home, in fact her last run there was called “Judy Garland At Home At The Palace”. As far as movies go, they played on and off until the late 60’s. Valley of The Dolls did sellout business here in the Christmas of 1967. Across the street Fox had a billboard that was advertising the film for months. Judgement at Nuremberg may also have opened here a few years earlier in a reserved seat roadshow.

SethLewis
SethLewis on March 31, 2004 at 6:43 am

There were a couple of attempts to revive the theatre as a movie house in the 70s…Saw Gone with the Wind here with my dad…the perfect setting