Louisville Palace Theatre

625 S. Fourth Street,
Louisville, KY 40202

Unfavorite 17 people favorited this theater

Showing 26 - 50 of 69 comments

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on February 17, 2007 at 4:31 pm

This place has one of the best sky effects I have seen in a restored movie house. Usually it seems the sky is cut at some point to allow for modern lighting. At least from the pictures I have seen, the ceiling in this place has not been altered.

JRColvin on February 17, 2007 at 11:50 am

I love the Palace so much, but this breaks my heart: classic movies are still shown during summers, but in 2005 they started projecting them from consumer grade standard def DVDs rather than film. One exception: during the Hitchcock series in 2005, they had to show Lifeboat from VHS tape because the DVD hadn’t been released yet! Surely a low point for this beautiful cinema…

Patsy on December 12, 2006 at 9:10 pm

This is a grand old atmospheric and one that I’d love to see, in person someday! Perhaps a good time would be during the Kentucky Derby.

Don Lewis
Don Lewis on December 12, 2006 at 11:42 am

Here is a colorful post card rendition of the Loews/United Artist theater on 4th Avenue in Louisville. Mickey Rooney in “Boys Town” appears to be the evening movie feature.
The Rialto is accross the street featuring Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire in “Carefree"

clzoeller on June 28, 2006 at 6:00 am

I was assistant manager of the Louisville United Artist Theatre (now the Louisville Palace) from 1958 to 1967. The theatre’s 13 rank Wurlitzer Organ was not removed from the theatre until 1978. A local coal operator had purchased the theatre “to restore it” sold the organ to a pizza parlor in Atlanta. The organ was removed in the middle of the night to avoid criticism. He also auctioned the original furnishings and accessories of the theatre’s lobby and mezzanine. I was fortunate enough to purchase a bench and chair which I still own.

The theatre was originally named the Lowe’s and United Artists’ State Theatre when it opened on September 1, 1928. I have an original of the full-page newspaper ad for the opening that lists the contractors and suppliers for the theatre.

I was also assistant manager of Louisville Rialto Theatre during its last year, 1968.

Patsy on June 13, 2006 at 4:12 am

Lost Memory: Great shot of the marquee, but too bad that it’s only lighted when there is a performance at the theatre. Someday I want to see this theatre and catch the Kentucky Derby while in “Lou-ville”. When I read “One of the greatest of John Eberson’s theatres and considered to be "the finest Theatre in the South” I knew that this theatre is a must see for any John Eberson theatre follwer/fan. Also recall that the great- grandson of John Eberson is a CT member which is great news for us Ebersonians!

William on April 12, 2006 at 10:10 pm

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

anthonyvogel on March 12, 2006 at 9:53 am

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 12, 2006 at 1:46 am

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

sredd on March 5, 2006 at 5:08 pm

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 16, 2006 at 7:24 am

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

Scott on February 16, 2006 at 4:02 am

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 15, 2006 at 7:50 am

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 15, 2006 at 1:25 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 11:18 pm

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

Patsy on February 11, 2006 at 9:28 am

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

kencmcintyre on January 13, 2006 at 4:56 am

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 12, 2006 at 8:18 am

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

RobertR on July 20, 2005 at 3:25 am

An interior shot is here
View link

BeltwayBrian on July 9, 2005 at 9:39 am

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 9:56 pm

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 9:05 pm

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 8:55 pm

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 14, 2005 at 4:50 am

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