Palace Theatre

1564 Broadway,
New York, NY 10036

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Showing 76 - 100 of 249 comments

RobertEndres on January 21, 2011 at 4:13 pm

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 3:05 pm


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

AlAlvarez on January 21, 2011 at 3:03 pm

That was APRIL 1969 for the “Ben-Hur” reissue.

AlAlvarez on January 21, 2011 at 3:01 pm

Some Palace Roadshows

Nov. 22, 1932 “THE KID FROM SPAIN”

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on January 21, 2011 at 10:19 am

>>but when vaudeville died out the Palace seemed to switch back and forth between film and legit stage shows…

Not exactly correct.

techman707 on January 21, 2011 at 8:01 am

Chris, There were many film that “premiered” at the Palace, although the last couple you mention were roadshow openings, many were just premieres with continuous showings.

Although I worked as a projectionist across the street at the DeMille, I recall the 70mm projector installation for Ben-Hur and the premiere of “Goodbye Mr. Chips” at the Palace. The projection throw was just too steep for 70mm projection (they were already using custom made lenses to help correct for the keystone and focus problems with 35mm films). They finally decided to install a temporary projection booth in the balcony for the 70mm run, with Cinemechanica projectors, which were removed, along with the balcony booth, after the run of “Goodbye Mr. Chips”.

bigjoe59 on January 20, 2011 at 11:13 pm

as always i thank my fellow posters for replying to my questions.
here’s a new one. when the Palace first opened and for many years
after it was the premiere vaudeville house in the country. but when
vaudeville died out the Palace seemed to switch back and forth
between film and legit stage shows. this is where my question
comes in. aside from the roadshow engagements of 55 DAYS AT PEKING
in 1963 and the re-issue of BEN-HUR in June of 1969 and the
premiere of the musical version of GOODBYE MR. CHIPS in Dec. of
1969 how many other films premiered at the Palace with roadshow
engagements? many thanks in advance for the info.

AlAlvarez on January 7, 2011 at 6:26 pm

Ad for the August 1957 re-launching of the Palace as an “important” first-run house.

View link

Tinseltoes on August 19, 2010 at 9:31 pm

On this day (August 19) in 1943, a refurbished RKO Palace became Broadway’s newest showcase for major movies with the world premiere engagement of RKO’s “The Fallen Sparrow,” a B&W espionage suspenser starring John Garfield and Maureen O'Hara. Since dropping vaudeville in 1935, the Palace had been showing mostly “move-overs” from other theatres, often day-and-date with some of the RKO nabes. Coincidentally, Maureen O'Hara celebrated her 90th birthday this week at her home in County Cork, Ireland. Here’s a link to a TV interview:

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 16, 2010 at 11:16 pm

A photo-ad in Boxoffice magazine, April 6, 1959, showing marquee and crowds at the entrance for The Diary of Anne Frank.

Tinseltoes on February 26, 2010 at 9:12 pm

Here’s the 1941 premiere of an all-time classic: View link

Tinseltoes on January 11, 2010 at 7:27 pm

Seven images related to the revival of vaudeville at the RKO Palace in May, 1949, can be found here. Just keep scrolling down after connecting: View link

rennie on July 20, 2009 at 5:14 am

Just found out my Great-Grandfather, Percival “Patty” Roberts was manager and electrician at Palace in Manhattan at the turn of the century!! Wow!! I have sepia photos of him at switchboard backstage.

JSA on June 21, 2009 at 8:57 pm

Visiting the Palace was one of the highlights during my trip to NYC last week. What a gorgeous, amazing place. And the show, West Side Story, was beautifully staged. “Cool” and “Dance at the Gym” musical numbers were just stunning!


Bway on May 21, 2009 at 6:38 pm

Great photo, to compare to the current one.

kencmcintyre on May 3, 2009 at 2:14 am

Here is a 1948 photo from the Smithsonian:

kencmcintyre on April 11, 2009 at 11:27 pm

That’s a nice photo.

JimS1 on February 11, 2009 at 10:54 pm

My first time at the Palace I saw Gwen Verdon in SWEET CHARITY. I also saw GOODTIME CHARLEY, the musical about Joan of Arc with Joel Grey and Ann Reinking. I also saw WOMAN OF THE YEAR, WILL ROGERS FOLLIES and AIDA. I had NO idea that the Palace had once again been used as a movie theatre following the runs of SWEET CHARITY and HENRY SWEET HENRY and before APPLAUSE opened in 1970.
One of my happiest theatre memories was attending the final preview of APPLAUSE with Bacall. That was an exciting evening for me. It was a Sunday night and there were lots of actors in attendance as Sunday night was their night off. I was on a college theatre trip and was very lucky to snag a great orchestra seat earlier that day. It must have been a house seat as the location was ideal.
Great memories at the Palace. Hope to see the new WEST SIDE STORY!

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on January 7, 2009 at 9:13 pm

One of the few great movies to play its world premiere engagement at the Palace was this in 1941, presented on a reserved-seat policy with two performances daily. All tickets for the gala opening night were priced at $2.20 each (about $32 in 2009). Thereafter, weekday matinees were 75 cents, 85 cents, and $1.10. All evening performances were $1.10, $1.65, and $2.20. Matinees on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays were 85 cents, $1.10, and $1.65.
View link

kencmcintyre on November 30, 2008 at 4:49 pm

Not Life, Warren, that was me. There was no identification on the photo.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on November 30, 2008 at 3:20 pm

Sorry, Ken, but that’s the Globe Theatre, which was on the opposite side of Broadway. Even Life Magazine could make mistakes!

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on November 29, 2008 at 2:59 pm

It took me a long time to spot the Palace (on the far left) because I never saw a parade march UP Broadway and my bearings were off; I guess when it was a still a two-way street, why not!