Palace Theatre

1564 Broadway,
New York, NY 10036

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Showing 51 - 75 of 251 comments

Tinseltoes on November 14, 2011 at 7:12 am

The entire “legit” history of the Palace Theatre can be found here: ibdb

rivoli157 on November 13, 2011 at 4:15 pm

ok Judy Garland played the Palace, 1951, 1956? and 1967. She sold the joint out. I have been in here only to see shows,a revival of OKLAHOMA! in the 70s,a couple of benefits,and BEAUTY AND THE BEAST.

I do know that in 1969 MGM premiered the musical version of GOODBYE MR. CHIPS starring Peter O'Toole and Petula Clark.And I believe somtime around 1968 a re-release of BEN-HUR played an engagement

The current legit tenent at the Palace is PRISCILLA,QUEEN OF THE DESERT,a musical play based on the film of the same title

Tinseltoes on November 1, 2011 at 7:46 am

Sixty-seven years ago today, RKO’s “The Master Race,” a follow-up to the studio’s blockbusting “Hitler’s Children,” started its NYC premiere engagement at the RKO Palace Theatre. On opening day only, Hildegarde Cunow, a young German woman who had managed to escape the Nazi regime, appeared on stage to describe “the abuse she suffered.” The B&W melodrama was advertised with “A Shock Warning To All The World: Beware Of The Germans AFTER THE WAR!”.

techman707 on July 23, 2011 at 8:42 am

Tinseltoes, Unfortunately, you’re never going to see “The Reluctant Dragon” in a “real” theatre again.

Children $.25, now you’re talking.

Tinseltoes on July 23, 2011 at 7:29 am

Seventy years ago today, one of Walt Disney’s most unusual Technicolor features, “The Reluctant Dragon,” opened its NYC premiere engagement at the RKO Palace. Part live-action and part cartoon, the RKO Radio release was a glorified sightseeing tour of the Disney Studio in Burbank, California, with humorist Robert Benchley as the guide. At the core was an animated fairy tale about a pacifistic, tea-sipping dragon and his faint-hearted adversary, Sir Giles. Children’s tickets at the RKO Palace were priced at 25 cents at all times. Performances were continuous from 9:00am until 2:00 the next morning.

Tinseltoes on May 1, 2011 at 7:22 am

Seventy years ago tonight, RKO Radio’s B&W “Citizen Kane” opened its world premiere engagement at the RKO Palace as a reserved-seat, two-a-day roadshow. Ticket prices started at 75 cents for matinees and peaked at $2.20 for evening performances. Needless to say, the feature debut of multi-talented Orson Welles is now regarded as one of the all-time masterworks of world cinema.

techman707 on February 23, 2011 at 11:28 am

Of all the theatres that remain today, the theatres on the west coast, especially in the LA area, are MUCH better than “what’s left” here in the New York area. While there may be some exceptions, overall they have NO RESPECT for old movie palaces.

One of my best friends (now deceased) was a vice president of the Fox Film Company in 1925. Before he passed away in 1982 he gave me pictures of himself and William Fox. One of the pictures was of the “Fox Film Baseball Team of 1925” and everyone, including Mr. Fox, is in a baseball uniform. He used to tell me about some the theatres they operated across the country and how Mr. Fox “insisted” that every theatre be built as opulent as possible. It used to depress me thinking about how I missed that parade.

William on February 23, 2011 at 10:22 am

techman, Every theatre has issues. We were just talking about names. And your right many of the true theatres built for Loew’s and RKO during that time are real movie palaces. I’m a Fox West Coast Theatres person.

techman707 on February 23, 2011 at 9:34 am

When you’re talking MOVIE THEATRES, to even mention a theater like the Palace in the presence with MOVIE PALACES (no pun intended) like the Roxy or Capitol is insulting, especially to the Roxy. While the Palace might be famous, it’s certainly not a good theatre for movies when compared to a “real” movie theatre….especially all the theatres built by Loews and RKO in the years of 1928-29.

William on February 23, 2011 at 8:52 am

I think his meaning is that this was in the US The Palace. Which like the Roxy, Paramount Times Square the ones that legends were made. To many people this was the main Palace no matter what year it was built. So many hundreds of theatres around the country were inspired to be named the Palace.

Tinseltoes on February 23, 2011 at 8:20 am

A phrase in the opening sentence of the introduction, “the one that virtually inspired them all,” doesn’t make sense to me. Does it mean that the NYC Palace started a trend for using that name for theatres, which I don’t think is true. If you go back in history, “Palace” was always a frequent name for theatres, especially the larger and grander ones, in English-speaking countries. You will also find its theatrical equivalent in other languages, such as “Palais” and “Palast.” Yhis particular Palace became the flagship of vaudeville for America, if not the world. It was the dream of every vaudevillian to perform at the Palace. Those that did had reached the pinnacle of success, and the headliners especially were treated like royalty.

AlAlvarez on February 22, 2011 at 4:44 am

That 1963 engagement of “55 DAYS AT PEKING” was neither exclusive nor roadshow. It was a four theatre break advertised as filmed in 70mmm but not exhibited that way.

techman707 on February 21, 2011 at 9:43 pm

“And how many angels can dance on the head of a pin?
posted by saps on Feb 21, 2011 at 7:30pm”

Don’t believe in angels.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on February 21, 2011 at 7:30 pm

And how many angels can dance on the head of a pin?

techman707 on February 21, 2011 at 12:52 pm

All I know is at the time I was told that the portable booth was the FIRST TIME that 70mm was being shown at the Palace. So I doubt that 55 DAYS AT PEKING could have been shown in 70mm. As for Super Technirama 70, that was shot like VistaVision, 8 perf 35mm horizontal pulldown and blown DOWN to 70mm. The only film shot in 55mm (55.625) were the Cinemascope 55 films. 70mm release prints are shot on 60mm and printed on 70mm print stock to make room for the 6 mag tracks.

bigjoe59 on February 21, 2011 at 9:45 am

hello again. reading my fellow poster’s comments always prompts
new questions on my part. here goes. the 1/21/11 note by William
states that 70MM didn’t arrive at the Palace till the June 1969
roadshow re-issue of BEN-HUR. since it was a tiny bit before my
time i’ve always assumed the Oct.1963 exclusive roadshow engagement of 55 DAYS AT PEKING at the Palace was in 70MM. i make this
assumption because Samuel Bronston’s two previous roadshow epics
EL CID and KING OF KINGS were shot in 70MM Super Technirama. so
regardless of the name of the actual process they were shot in
55…. wasn’t shot in 70MM like the other two films?

techman707 on February 21, 2011 at 8:21 am

I believe the late opening of Ben-Hur was because the portable booth and installation wasn’t ready. They probab;y never figured on the new booth.-LOL

Coate on February 20, 2011 at 8:34 pm

The 1969 re-issue of “Ben-Hur” mentioned in several recent comments actually began in February 1969, though it didn’t open in New York until June 18. “Goodbye, Mr. Chips” premiered on November 5, 1969.

View link

techman707 on January 21, 2011 at 4:13 pm

Bob, I only worked a few shifts at the Palace. One of my partners (Louis Romeo) at the DeMille came over from the Palace and worked there for many years. My other partner, Jack Linn, was ALSO a stagehand at the Music Hall, and would frequently leave to run up the block to the Music Hall to do his shift.

It’s funny you should mention the short focal length lenses at the Palace. I can’t remember the specific name of them at the moment, but Bill Nafash installed these giant lens magnifiers (like Magnacoms only five times the size)in front of the prime lenses. After “Mr. Chips” finished, he took them back and left them wrapped in brown wrapping paper in the store, which is where I found them. When the Oceana Theatre in Brooklyn was being triplexed (it was later turned into a sixplex), we built a projection booth on the front of the first 3 rows of the loge. The throw was only 45ft, but the scope screen was 42ft wide. I used those magnifiers in front of the shortest focal length lenses Schneider made at the time. Like in the Palace, it required the lens to be slipped forward to open the gate on the XL’s. However, we had a vignetting problem with scope when using regular anamorphic lenses. In the end, Schneider wound up making us special short focal length lenses that NO LONGER required the lens to be moved forward to open the gate. For Cinemascope, to gave us what they said was the last set of “Cinemascope 55” anamorphic lenses that they still had in Germany. With the new prime lens, they fit the FULL XL lens mount without an adapter. I would mention the cost of those Schneider lenses, but it’s too obscene to put in type. However, that’s when I learned that you can do anything if you have enough money.-lol Cost aside, Schneider makes the BEST lenses I have seen to date.

AlAlvarez on January 21, 2011 at 9:09 am

My mistake, William. That was indeed a popular price/continuous show run on “Can-Can”.

William on January 21, 2011 at 9:04 am

Al, Was “Can-Can” a 35mm move-over from Rivoli Theatre. Since 70MM did not get to the Palace till 1969 with “Ben-Hur”. “Can-Can” opened at the Rivoli Theatre in 70MM Todd-AO and played 33 weeks there.

RobertEndres on January 21, 2011 at 8:13 am

Techman: Perhaps you can verify a couple of stories about projection at the Palace. Bill Nafash said that when they installed 70mm for “Ben-Hur” and “Chips” the throw from the temporary booth to the screen was so short that they had to use very short focal length lenses to get the screen size they needed. To get the picture in focus with that set-up the lenses sat so far back in the lens barrels that the gate couldn’t be opened for threading. Thus the lens collar had to be slipped forward to thread and then pushed back into position after the threading was complete. Bill said that more than once the operators forgot to move the lens back into position and the reel came up spectacularly out of focus.

Did you ever work the 35mm/frontlight booth in the Palace? When I came to New York a stagehand at the Hall who also worked a show at the Palace snuck me into the booth to see the show. The Simplex X-L’s were still there, and as I recall it the bases had been cut down and the angle was so steep (as you mention above) that the operators would have had to sit down on cut-down stools to thread the machines.

AlAlvarez on January 21, 2011 at 7:05 am


June 1969 for “Ben-Hur”, November 1969 for “Chips”.