United Palace

4140 Broadway,
New York, NY 10033

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Showing 26 - 50 of 269 comments

LuisV on June 18, 2013 at 3:05 pm

I think we can both be right. It’s quite possible that it was designed for live theater/events and as the construction progressed and the deepening depression wore on, the decision was made to add movie capability thereby enabling them to do the quick switch when their worst fears were realized.

Bway on June 18, 2013 at 1:44 pm

Radio City may have been planned to be only live theater, but it never was only live theater at the beginning, as mentioned, two weeks after opening it showed it’s first movie. They had to know it would be showing film two weeks earlier…. :)

LuisV on June 17, 2013 at 2:33 pm

Oh, and thanks Tinseltoes for the backup. :–) Radio City was built for live theater and events, but quickly realized it wouldn’t work thereby becoming one of the greatest palaces ever to have existed!

LuisV on June 17, 2013 at 2:31 pm

The Mark Hellinger would never have been in danger. It would be very successful as a venue for live theater and I hope the church eventually cashes out so they can use the funds “to help the poor”. Yes, they have taken great care of the theater. It’s beautiful, but it should be used as a theater once again and, yes, live theater counts. :–)

Tinseltoes on June 17, 2013 at 12:55 pm

Like its name, RCMH was intended to be a “live” music hall, but it quickly fell victim to the Depression and had to be switched to a cinema with a stage show in support. If it had shown films exclusively, it would never have survived, and might have been turned into a parking garage.

Bway on June 17, 2013 at 11:41 am

Again, even if the theaters are used as churches instead of theater (movies), it’s still better than gutted and turned into a drug store or something….or worse, torn down. As for the Hollywood Theater (Mark Hellinger), as far as I know, the theater is maintained beautifully, even if used for a church. Would you rather have seen it turned into retail, or some of the far worse things that could have been done to it? Hollywood-Mark Hellinger Theatre

As for Radio City Music Hall, it was always meant to show film, as well as live theater. It showed it’s first movie in January 1933….within two weeks of opening.

LuisV on June 17, 2013 at 6:48 am

Agreed, but it is considered a palace nonetheless. Radio City was also built for theater not movies. It too, is one of our greatest palaces! :–)

AlAlvarez on June 16, 2013 at 4:45 pm

LuisV, the Mark Hellinger’s original purpose was movies, not Broadway shows.

LuisV on June 16, 2013 at 3:37 pm

Many churches have been wonderful stewards of old theaters; others have not. Certainly in the case of theaters like Loew’s 175th Street (United Palace), the Stanley (Jersey City), Loew’s Valencia and Loew’s Metropolitan, churches have saved and preserved the theaters that might otherwise have been lost, but other churches have gutted theaters or severely damaged them. The church that purchased the Mark Hellinger theater in Manhattan has taken a stunning movie palace and removed it from the Broadway Live Theater scene. Though they have taken wonderful care of the theater I wish they would sell it back so it can be returned to its legitimate use as a home for the Broadway Stage.

Bway on June 16, 2013 at 12:21 pm

Wow, that is just wonderful!!

The perfect example of why often times “churches” have “saved” a theater….and now even returning to it’s natural use, at least partly. For all those that “knock” the Tabernacle of Prayer in Jamaica (former Valencia Theater), because of the garish colors they painted….remember it’s churches like that that saved many theaters.

LuisV on June 16, 2013 at 6:08 am

BIG NEWS! There is a campaign under way to buy a projector for this theater and bring regularly scheduled films back to this theater for the first time in more than 40 years. I’m giving $100! Please consider donating and watch the great clip below! This theater is already restored and already has a screen. All that is missing is the projector! http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/return-film-to-the-united-palace

guarina on May 25, 2012 at 6:43 am

Tinseltoes, Then it must have been the RKO Coliseum. I remember Broadway was blocked by the snow, it was February 1st, we took a taxi coming out of the theater, but the driver stopped in front of the Presbyterian Medical Center and told us to get off, he couldn’t go on.

Tinseltoes on May 24, 2012 at 1:20 pm

Guarina, if you’re talking about the original release of “Giant” in 1956, you couldn’t have seen it at Loew’s 175th Street because it didn’t play there. If you saw it in its first run in the Washington Heights area, that would have been at the RKO Coliseum. Prior to that, you could have seen it in Manhattan only at the Roxy, where “Giant” played its exclusive NYC premiere engagement.

guarina on May 24, 2012 at 10:41 am

How depressing! I think I saw “Giant” with Rock Hudson and Elizabeth Taylor there in an early February, there was a heavy snowfall.

Tinseltoes on May 24, 2012 at 7:01 am

Here’s a 1980s tax view of the entire block, with marquee and entrance at the right side of the photo: lunaimaging

guarina on April 25, 2012 at 2:00 am

I remember Loew’s 175th from 1951 and it was still a theater in 1957. The “Big Three” railroad-car style diner was across 175th Street, there was a photo studio across Broadway. My cousin worked as an usher there while in high school.

TLSLOEWS on June 30, 2011 at 1:56 pm

Thanks for the Link Tinseltoes.

Tinseltoes on June 30, 2011 at 1:39 pm

Loew’s 175th Street is prominently mentioned in this Wall Street Journal article by Will Friedwald about uptown theatres that have found God: wsj.com

LuisV on November 11, 2010 at 1:32 pm

Yes, Tinseltoes, the Tony"s will be at the Beacon. While I am extremely disappointed that the country will not be exposed to this gem of a theater there is no better other theater to host the Tony’s than the Beacon as Alto so eloquently pointed out. The theater is actually on Broadway and was recently renovated. It will still reflect very well on New York, but it would have been very nice to have really gone outside the box for a change.

Tinseltoes on November 11, 2010 at 8:25 am

As I suspected above on 7/14/10, the deal to present the next Tony Awards at the United Palace fell through. The telecast will be held instead at the Beacon Theatre, which is about 100 blocks to the south of Washington Heights and probably seems safer and more convenient for members of the elite group that presents the Tony Awards.

LuisV on August 21, 2010 at 8:41 am

Yes Al, you are correct that Radio City was not specifically built as a movie palace but a movie palace it most definitely is. That is how it was used for a majority of its life and how it is remembered by most.

I still think that the Tony committee made a brilliant move in scheduling the Tony ceremony at Loew’s 175th Street Theatre. It will focus attention on one of the nation’s most magnificent movie palaces while at the same time letting people everywhere know that not everything happens in midtown Manhattan. There is a wealth of architectural splendor throughout the boroughs and this will highlight it.

AlAlvarez on August 20, 2010 at 8:50 pm

Radio City was never built as a movie palace. The Roxy (Center) was the failed movie palace. Radio City was built as a Music Hall and settled for movies when music shows failed.

Altoblanco on August 20, 2010 at 3:55 pm

I’m not surprised about this move, considering…in January 2010, the Allman Brothers Band, which held a 40-year relationship with the Beacon Theatre, was forced to move its legendary annual NYC concerts from that venue to the United Palace (breaking a 20-year, 190-show string) because – you guessed it – Beacon management booked a Cirque du Soleil production on an extended run!

It’s great that a Loew’s “Wonder Theatre” gets such an honor bestowed upon it, and that Broadway is actually celebrated ON Broadway…but 175th Street? Is it impossible today in NYC to find a theatre that’s both on Broadway AND boasts comparable capacity, quality, aesthetics or amenities, either in or closer to Midtown Manhattan?

What about the Upper West Side? The recently restored 2894-seat Beacon Theatre is magnificent! Want even more “spread-out” space for red carpet, crowds, traffic and parking? Go a few blocks down to the newly renovated Lincoln Center and its 3800-seat Metropolitan Opera House – it may not represent the authentic “classic” theatrical setting that we desire, but it’s classy, prestigious and celeb-friendly (for those of you with short memories, the MTV Video Music Awards ceremony was held there in September of 1999 and 2001).

LuisV on July 14, 2010 at 10:15 am

I’m not at all worried about any Tony “threats” to the theater. Let’s remind ourselves that the Tony’s have been housed in one of the world’s greatest movie palaces for many years: Radio City!

In addition, many acts have played the United Palace whose fans I feared had the potential to damage the theater much more than the performers. But my fears were not warranted. The United Palace has maintained the theater beautifully and I have no reason to think that it will change anytime soon.

Tinseltoes on July 14, 2010 at 9:04 am

If the “Tony” event does take place (I’ve heard that it’s not a done deal yet), let us literally pray that no physical harm is done to the theatre, which has been exceptionally well-maintained by the church over the years and retains its “original” look. Please spare it from desecration by network TV technicians who might want to break through walls and/or ceilings.