Louisville Palace Theatre

625 S. Fourth Street,
Louisville, KY 40202

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Showing 51 - 69 of 69 comments

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!

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on May 24, 2005 at 10:26 am

Wow – what a beautiful place. It’s everything a theater should be. I wish I could see it in person someday. Brian: how wide is the screen? From the pictures of the stage on the website it looks to be huge.

BeltwayBrian on May 24, 2005 at 9:58 am

Additionally, the theater is a non-smoking venue so you kids shouldn’t be smoking in the venue, anyway. For a full list of theater policies, not to mention a jaw-dropping virtual tour of the theater, please visit www.louisvillepalace.com

BeltwayBrian on May 24, 2005 at 9:41 am

Words cannot describe what this theater means to me. I began attending shows there starting in 1994, and in 1997 I was lucky enough to be employed by the theater wich was then helmed by the esteemed Terry Hennessey (now at the Murat in Indy) and remained employed there for three years, after which time I began volunteer work for the peerless Mr. Bob Marx. It was while doing this work that I met my wife-to-be (on her first night of volunteering, no less). As much as I despise Clear Channel, their management flunkies and homogonized radio playlists, I will give them credit for restoring and preserving this one-of-a-kind landmark. Be it Allison Krauss (who recorded her “LIVE” CD/DVD here…a wonderful documentation of the facility) or Alice Cooper (or the Louisville Pops, touring Broadway productions, Lyle Lovett, John Prine, Sting, Bruce Springsteen, Widespread Panic, Elvis Costello, Garrison Keillor, Ani DiFranco, Motley Crue, Jerry Seinfeld, Robin Williams, The OJays, Ray Charles, Johnny Cash…the list is just ENDLESS!) this is THE PLACE to take in a show when in Louisville. Oh, yeah…during the summer months the Palace STILL shows classic movies on perhaps the largest screen in town. Casablanca, Lawrence of Arabia, Gone with the Wind etc. to the more modern films such as The Godfather and ET…there’s just nothing like watching these classics with 1300 or so of your fellow moviegoers. In one weekend we had over to 3000 people in to watch “The Wizard of Oz”. Now that I reside in Washington DC one of the things I miss most from Louisville is the Palace. By all means if you find yourself lucky enough to catch a performance there, DO SO. You will not regret it. The best seats are in the front/center of the Balcony IMHO. With seating for just under 2800 patrons there is not a bad seat in the house. The House staff and volunteers are as friendly as they come and words just cannot do justice the the beauty of the facility itself. Mr. Eberson did himself proud with this structure. It is indeed an “Atmospheric” theater with a Spanish-Freso theme. In fact, after viewing the Allison Krauss DVD my boss remarked “I didn’t think (the Palace) was an outdoor theater”…the effect of sitting under the stars (blinking lights recessed into the curved, midnight blue ceiling) is just that believable. Do not miss the “faces” lobby…a sight that has to be seen…unlike any other theater I know of. My best wishes go out to the theater as well as to Mr. Bob Marx…Bob, Jill and I miss you all and will come calling next time we are in town. A request to all the “Jam-Band” fans who frequent the theater…please respect the place…don’t burn the seats with your cigarettes (or whatever else you may be smoking). Another note for historical clarity…the carpeting in the theater was recently replaced using a custom-made pattern that was the original design when the theater opened in 1927. Also, in the Balcony Women’s restroom there is a mother-and-child toilet stall with a standard sized toilet for Mom and a ¼ size toilet for Junior…this alone is worth stopping by to see! And I could go on and on…but just go and see it for yourselves! Ask for Bob Marx and tell him Brian & Jill sent you. Gawd how I miss that place…

Patsy on March 1, 2005 at 1:59 pm

TC: Thanks for the webshot photos especially of the coffered ceiling! I don’t get through the Louisville area much, but if I ever do again the Palace there will be a must-see! Again, the name Eberson would warrant it!

Patsy on March 1, 2005 at 1:54 pm

Jim: Thanks for the style/type classification.

teecee on March 1, 2005 at 12:01 pm

Great photo of the marquee and some dark interior closeups:

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JimRankin on January 10, 2005 at 8:17 pm

“Style” is not the same thing as “Type”; ‘Atmospheric’ is a type or class of theatre, as opposed to ‘Standard’ (or ‘Hard Top’), whereas ‘Style’ denotes the theme or period of the decor, and in this case appears to mainly Italinate, as in Italian Baroque, even though there is technically no such style. Italy did foster a number design stylings that did lead to a certain look, and that is what the term ‘style’ is all about. Perhaps the guys did not want to create yet another field to be filled and searchable, so limited the fields to ‘style.’ There is a reasonable limit to how many searchable fields a site can contain and still do its job within good time.

Patsy on January 10, 2005 at 1:30 pm

This theatre is clearly an atmospheric theatre, yet is listed as “unknown” after the word Style!

beetleruss on July 11, 2004 at 11:28 am

Having abandoned Moller rather late in the game, Loew’s generally bought Robert Mortons for its largest projects, but Wurlitzer also got a piece of the action, mostly in the form of 3/13s, the same organ newly favored by the Orpheum circuit. The State’s organ was revived in 1963 by James Wingate and friends, but the presence of a balcony theatre made its regular use somewhat problematic. Later removed to a Georgia pizza parlor, it has been broken up. The console now controls the organ in Manual High School, Indianapolis.

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JimRankin on April 8, 2004 at 8:12 am

The former STATE in Louisville is almost as much an ‘Andalusian bon bon’ as that other famous Spanish Atmospheric, the TAMPA (also by John Eberson) in Tampa, Florida, as so dubbed by that great profiler of movie palaces, the late Ben M. Hall as portrayed on page 97 of his landmark book: “The Best Remaining Seats, The Story of the Golden Age of the Movie Palace” in 1961. The book can be obtained through Inter-Library Loan at any library. The Theatre Historical Soc. of America has also produced a beautiful 34-page ANNUAL on the Louisville STATE/PALACE where there are dozens of b/w photos of the theatre in its prime and presently, including some unusual photos of its construction.
To obtain any available Back Issue of either “Marquee” or of its ANNUALS, simply go to the web site of the THEATRE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA at:
and notice on their first page the link “PUBLICATIONS: Back Issues List” and click on that and you will be taken to their listing where they also give ordering details. The “Marquee” magazine is 8-1/2x11 inches tall (‘portrait’) format, and the ANNUALS are also soft cover in the same size, but in the long (‘landscape’) format, and are anywhere from 26 to 40 pages. Should they indicate that a publication is Out Of Print, then it may still be possible to view it via Inter-Library Loan where you go to the librarian at any public or school library and ask them to locate which library has the item by using the Union List of Serials, and your library can then ask the other library to loan it to them for you to read or photocopy. [Photocopies of most THSA publications are available from University Microforms International (UMI), but their prices are exorbitant.]

Note: Most any photo in any of their publications may be had in large size by purchase; see their ARCHIVE link. You should realize that there was no color still photography in the 1920s, so few theatres were seen in color at that time except by means of hand tinted renderings or post cards, thus all the antique photos from the Society will be in black and white, but it is quite possible that the Society has later color images available; it is best to inquire of them.

Should you not be able to contact them via their web site, you may also contact their Executive Director via E-mail at:
Or you may reach them via phone or snail mail at:
Theatre Historical Soc. of America
152 N. York, 2nd Floor York Theatre Bldg.
Elmhurst, ILL. 60126-2806 (they are about 15 miles west of Chicago)

Phone: 630-782-1800 or via FAX at: 630-782-1802 (Monday through Friday, 9AM—4PM, CT)

bobmarx on February 23, 2004 at 12:02 pm

The Loews closed in 1973 and remained closed until 1980. A group of investors purchased the theatre in late 1978 and got the theatre placed on the National Register of Historic Places. The theatre opened as the Louisville Palace offering live concert performances and private events. In 1985 the theatre closed because of financial problems and remained closed until 1994 when reopened in Septembeer of that year. The Palace has operated continually since then and is now part of the Clear Channel Corporation’s theatrical division. The seating capacity is now 2800 and the theatre is undergoing continual work on amenities and improvements in patron comfort.

William on December 5, 2003 at 8:30 am

The Loew’s Theatre was also known as the State and it seated 3273 people.

wlhickman on June 14, 2001 at 7:58 am

I have been told that the Wurlitzer Organ has been sold…. could some one advised me if this is true