Louisville Palace Theatre

625 S. Fourth Street,
Louisville, KY 40202

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Showing 26 - 50 of 63 comments

William on April 12, 2006 at 7:10 am

This Loew’s Theatre opened on September 1st, 1928.

anthonyvogel on March 11, 2006 at 5:53 pm

Those not lucky enough to visit Louisville can get some sense of the experience of being in one of Eberson’s most beautiful theatres by seeing the DVD “Alison Krauss & Union Station Live (2003)” which was filmed in High Definition at the Louisville Palace. See the Amazon website description of the video at:
View link
This place to my heart as I spent my teens growing up in Louisville and I had the pleasure of restoring its cousin, the Akron Civic Theatre by Eberson in Akron, Ohio as a member of Wilson Butler Lodge Architects.
Anthony Vogel, designer/graphic artist/journalist, Arlington, MS

Patsy on March 11, 2006 at 9:46 am

Lost Memory: Great night photo as the facade is so beautifully ornate above the marquee!

sredd on March 5, 2006 at 1:08 am

When I was a kid, friends and I would go to the movies all the time at the United Artist and The Penthouse (throughout the 70’s). I remember playing hookie and going to see “Dog Day Afternoon” at the United Artist side. It was such a cool theatre, like entering another world; not like the bland multiplexes we have today.

Patsy on February 15, 2006 at 3:24 pm

Scott: Thanks for the correction and I look forward to seeing this theatre, in person, someday soon!

Scott on February 15, 2006 at 12:02 pm

Patsy –

No, this theatre is not twinned. It was for a time back in the 60’s and 70’s, but it was subsequently restored to a single auditorium. Looking at it now, you’d never know that it was once twinned. It is really impressive.

jrm20001 on February 14, 2006 at 3:50 pm

The Wurlitzer was a Style 240 – it had a Horn Diapason. There was also a sound effect labeled at the console as “AEROPLANE.” This was a single diaphone valve assembly with a simple conical resonator. It was located in the Solo chamber – house left.

The console was covered in Gesso and painted gold at the time of removal. At one time, it was white with a 1.5" red border around the lid and the sides had gipsum board ‘pilasters’ on the upper sides. There were shields and other painted designs on the sides and corbels. These were to tie in the PALACE motif.

01 Brass Trumpet (Solo)
02 Harmonic Tuba (Solo)
03 Diaphonic Diapason (Main)
04 Horn Diapason (Main)
05 Tibia Clausa (Solo)
06 Clarinet (Main)
07 Orchestral Oboe (Solo)
08 Solo String (Solo)
09 Viol d'Orchestra (Main)
10 Viol Celeste (Main)
11 Salicional (Main)
12 Quintadena (Solo)
13 Concert Flute (Main)
14 Vox Humana (Main)

Patsy on February 14, 2006 at 9:25 am

This atmospheric theatre is an Eberson and it’s been TWINNED? What a way to spoil and mess up an atmospheric theatre!

kencmcintyre on February 14, 2006 at 7:18 am

Somewhat similar to the Los Angeles Theater out here on the West Coast.

Patsy on February 10, 2006 at 5:28 pm

ken: What a very unique marquee and a must-see!

kencmcintyre on January 12, 2006 at 12:56 pm

It looks like that link doesn’t hold up, for some reason. If you want to to see the pictures, you would have to go to
http://memory.loc.gov/ and enter Loew’s Louisville as a search term. Sorry about that.

kencmcintyre on January 11, 2006 at 4:18 pm

There are 51 photos of the theater at this site:
View link

RobertR on July 19, 2005 at 12:25 pm

An interior shot is here
View link

BeltwayBrian on July 8, 2005 at 6:39 pm

The current motion picture screen at the Palace measures 21 x 47 according to the website. They are featuring a Hitchcock film series this summer.

Scott on June 21, 2005 at 6:56 am

I echo BeltwayBrian’s thoughts on this theatre. I’ve attended some of the summer movie shows here and it is a spectacular work by Eberson. The main lobby and foyer leading from it are especially impressive. The auditorium is a little less flamboyant than those wonderful lobby spaces, but it’s still beautiful. And this theatre really needs to be seen in person because, as with most Eberson houses, the color scheme is breathtaking.

BeltwayBrian on June 21, 2005 at 6:05 am

There are photos of the “Faces” lobby on the official website www.louisvillepalace.com as well as two b&w pictures in the book “The Best Remaining Seats” which was published around 1960 (and features the “Eberson” face). In “The Best Remaining Seats” the theater is listed as the Louisville Lowe’s and the photos are around page 98-101, if I remember correctly. I suggest checking both out.

BeltwayBrian on June 21, 2005 at 5:55 am

Hey all! I am quite happy to report that the Balcony was long ago reunited with the rest of the house…since re-opening in the 1980’s the Palace has been one theater. The sole remaining reminder of the sub-divided Penthouse is the strip of carpet in the main Foyer where an escalator was installed (it too was long ago removed). The main foyer floor is a wonderous display of artistry and it was impossible to replace the work that had been undone by the installation of the escalator. There in it’s place is a red carpet strip that now leads up to the guest sevices window (formerly the interior box office) so the effect isn’t so jarring. Truth be told, my favorite place to view a show at the Palace is in the Balcony, specificaly Balcony sections 2 or 3, anywhere from row F to N (which is where I did most of my volunteer work, and also where I met my wife!). The Orchestra pit is nice if you HAVE to be up close (except for movies) but IMHO the sound is much better upstairs. There is not a bad seat in the house. I even watched “West Side Story” (the movie) from the back row once just to prove a point…and it was still larger than life. The caretakers of this theater are to be applauded for the excellent work that continues to this day to restore this theater to it’s opening day glory. It has not been mentioned in detail here yet but in the interior foyer the ceiling is comprised of many “faces”…busts of the likes of Socrates, Plato, Beethoven, etc….which repeat several times…and one bust each of John Eberson (the original architect) and another of the gentleman (John ???…I think…who’s last name escapes me at this moment) who undertook the renovations in the 1980’s. Eberson looks a bit like Joesph Stalin (he’s in the middle of the foyer, three rows up oppisite of the mezzanine) and the other fellow looks a bit like Jeff Bridges and he is on the Mezzanine side just above where the entrance to the Men’s room lies. Amazing one-of-a-kind theater that never fails to “WOW!” first time visitors, or even myself after thousands of trips into the theater. It was an honor an a priviledge to have worked and been associated with the theater for so many years. May it stand for at least another 75 years!

Patsy on June 13, 2005 at 1:50 pm

Yes, “it’s better than losing it entirely” if that is the alternative.

Patsy on June 13, 2005 at 9:18 am

I’m a single theatre venue advocate, if at all possible, in this day and age.

Patsy on June 13, 2005 at 9:18 am

Warren: Thanks, but I feel it is really a shame that the decision has to be made, for whatever reason, to sub-divide an atmospheric theatre as their interiors and effects are so very special.

Patsy on June 12, 2005 at 1:10 pm

“…..in 1963, the balcony was blocked off and a second floor screen was installed and renamed the Penthouse Theatre.” Is the balcony still “blocked off”? I’m surprised that the decision (somewhere along the way)to block off this balcony was made especially with the interior being atmospheric and the theatre was considered “the finest theatre in the south”.

KMaddux on June 12, 2005 at 10:41 am

I was one of the kids who went to the movies here and the Ohio for Disney films. As a teenager, I remember seeing Godspell and going upstairs to the restroom – what a gorgeous one! The last movie I saw there was when I was working at Stewart’s (another great loss – the building’s there, but it is definitely not the same) – “A Warm December” with Sidney Poitier. I saw “Jerry’s Girls” after it changed to the Palace and it’s still a beautiful theater….

teecee on June 8, 2005 at 5:14 am

A FLOCK OF SEAGULLS, performed here on 6-2-83. This date supports the timeline listed by bob marx above.

BeltwayBrian on May 24, 2005 at 11:13 am

Bill, the stage is apx. 50" x 25" and when the screen is lowered I’d say there is about a 5" border on the sides. Guessing thataway, I’d say apx. 40 x 15 (maybe 35 x 20?). I might be way off…however…compared with the average screen size at a “large” mutiplex I’d say it’s at least 50% larger than your average “stadium-seating” type screen that’s become the new standard. The only larger screen in Louisville that I can think of belonged to the (now closed but not demolished) National Amusement’s Showcase Cinemas on Bardstown Road. The Showcase started out as a twin screen art-neuvo (?) complex (white, angular with lots and lots of glass for a facade) and sometime during the multi-plexation of the facility the 2nd screen was divided into two small theaters…just what the moviegoing public wants, apparently, is a lot of small screens. Before it closed last year the complex was up to 13 screens…the one MASSIVE screen, two others that were almost as big, and the rest were little boxes. However, to their credit, NA left screen #1 alone and it was simply enormous. I never saw an actual Cinemascope screen but this screen came real close. It was convexed/concaved (I get them confused) so it may have actually been Cinemascope. Aside from that one particular screen (on which I saw my first movies “Bambi” & “The Towering Inferno”…complete with intermission! as well as Star Wars, Raiders…) there is not a screen in town to compare to the Palace. I have not seen the summer lineup just yet (it has not been posted on the website) but it is sure to be a killer. If you want to be in absolute envy of another town, their Eberson theater and it’s summer movie lineup, go over to Austin TX’s Paramount theater and prepare to be green with envy. Hope this was helpful and not too long winded!