Palace Theatre

1564 Broadway,
New York, NY 10036

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Showing 101 - 125 of 249 comments

LuisV on November 29, 2008 at 6:16 am

Thanks Ken mc for the photo. I never realized that the old Howard Johnsons was once a Childs!

kencmcintyre on November 27, 2008 at 11:43 am

The Palace marquee is on the left in this 1948 photo from Life Magazine:

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on November 24, 2008 at 7:34 am

Fulton was at 210 W. 46th Street and originally theatre/nightclub called Folies-Bergere. Flopped soon after opening in 1911 and converted to playhouse called Fulton. In 1955, re-named Helen Hayes in honor of one of America’s most revered actresses. Demolished in 1982, along with Astor, Victoria, Bijou and Morosco to make way for construction of a hotel. Now and then, the Fulton had a movie booking, but not for long enough to qualify it for listing as a “Cinema Treasure.”

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on November 23, 2008 at 7:14 pm

Advanced search feature doesn’t seem to be working; what is/was the Fulton Theater?

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on November 20, 2008 at 7:18 am

Thanks, “ken mc.” You might have mentioned that the focus of the photo is the sightseeing Audrey Hepburn, who had just arrived in America to make her Broadway stage debut in “Gigi.” She was still a virtual unknown, and had yet to film “Roman Holiday,” which turned her almost instantly into a superstar. Signage for the Embassy and Mayfair Theatres can also be seen in the background.

kencmcintyre on November 19, 2008 at 1:41 pm

The RKO Palace can been seen in this 1951 photo from Life magazine. This is a new collection of photos that has been added to Google.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on October 23, 2008 at 4:54 pm

Liza’s at the Palace. December 3 thru 14th.

AdoraKiaOra on October 16, 2008 at 11:40 pm

From next Feb, yes.

MPol on October 16, 2008 at 9:37 pm

Is this the same Palace Theatre that will be hosting the new Broadway stage revival of the musical “West Side Story”, btw? Just curious.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on September 5, 2008 at 6:07 am

Following “The Maltese Falcon” & “Marry the Boss’s Daughter,” the Palace ran “Weekend in Havana,” but with a different supporting feature than other RKO houses. Instead of “Man at Large,” the Palace had the NYC premiere engagement of “Cadet Girl,” which a NYT critic dismissed as “a feeble flag-waver.” It should be noted that during this period, the RKO Palace was being booked similarly to the nearby Loew’s Mayfair, which ran double features created for the Loew’s circuit. The programs at the Mayfair, however, were a couple of weeks behind other more important Loew’s theatres in Manhattan, whereas the Palace’s were day-and-date (at least with the main feature) with the top RKO houses.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on September 4, 2008 at 11:28 am

Yes, the booking at the RKO Albee was “Weekend in Havana,” with “Man At Large” as supporting feature. That combination remained intact for the RKO neighborhood run. “Havana” had its NYC premiere engagement at the Roxy with stage show.

BoxOfficeBill on September 4, 2008 at 11:04 am

That’s pure, vintage Bosley C. My guess at the bottom of the page is that the film opening at the RKO Albee that day was “Weekend in Havana,” with Alice Faye and … Carmen Miranda! It would have been a better choice for the Palace to have followed the paradigm of “Falcon” and Bomber" by booking that film instead.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on September 4, 2008 at 9:53 am

Instead of “Law of the Tropics,” the RKO Palace ran “Marry the Boss’s Daughter” as co-feature to “The Malteste Falcon.” The one-week booking opened December 3, 1941, which means it was running on the day that Japan attacked Pearl Harbor and triggered the USA’s entry into WW2. “Boss’s Daughter,” in its NYC premiere engagement at the Palace, was described by NYT critic Bosley Crowther as one of “the very worst” films of that year. Here’s an ad, with the Palace sandwiched in between RKO’s bookings for Manhattan/Westchester and Brooklyn/Queens:
View link

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on September 4, 2008 at 9:08 am

Bill, that’s further reason to believe that the ad shows a different RKO Palace…When “The Maltese Falcon” reached the RKO “nabes” in Greater New York, it had WB’s “Law of the Tropics” as the supporting feature.

BoxOfficeBill on September 4, 2008 at 8:54 am

“The Maltese Falcon” opened at the Strand on 3 Oct ‘41, with Jan Savitt and His Tophatters, plus Hi Lo Jack and the Dame (Radio’s Most Unusual Rhythm Makers) on stage. WB’s premier venue, the Hollywood, was showing “Sargeant York” on a long hold-over run.

The Palace in those days ran a double-feature bill that cherry-picked the two main-feature films current on the RKO nabe circuit—in this case, “Dive Bomber” (with Errol Flynn), the feature attraction at the RKO Manhattan theaters, plus “Sun Valley Seranade” (with Sonja Henie!), the feature attraction at the RKO Albee, slated to follow “Dive Bomber” onto the Manhattan screens.

Nostalgic footnote: The World Series was evidently in progress, and the RKO advertisements boasted: “World Series Returns Announced.” I had almost forgotten that at that time of year in those pre-instant-newsflash days, the projectionist periodically muted the film’s sound track to announce the Series (and Pennant) scores at the end of each inning. Though barely more than a toddler, I hated that desecration of the movies and consequently developed a life-long indifference to America’s Favorite Passtime: who, in any case, should ever have so much time to squander on a leather ball?

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on September 4, 2008 at 6:28 am

I’m not sure that’s an ad for this RKO Palace. There were other RKO Palaces around the USA, including Chicago, Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Columbus. This particular ad doesn’t remind me of any that I’ve ever seen for the RKO Palace in NYC.

edblank on September 3, 2008 at 4:14 pm

Robert, When exactly was that? Was it a moveover engagement of “Maltese Falcon”?

RobertR on September 3, 2008 at 3:06 pm

The 3 Stooges sharing a bill with Bogie
View link

AdoraKiaOra on June 13, 2008 at 7:50 pm

Does anyone have the stage dimensions of this theatre?

edblank on May 24, 2008 at 9:04 pm

One final, memorable Palace experience:
I was scheduled to attend a Wednesday matinee of “Woman of the Year” for review purposes and to interview Lauren Bacall’s co-star, the very affable Harry Guardino, immediately after the matinee. This would be time taken out of his dinner break before the evening performance.
After the matinee, I made my way to the stage door, but the press agent intercepted me with the news that Rock Hudson (Bacall’s co-star in “Written on the Wind”) and film producer Ross Hunter had attended that matinee, too, and had come backstage to pay courtesy calls on Bacall (first) and then Guardino.
I cooled my heels backstage, dressed in a suit and tie and holding my pocket-size tape recorder, waiting for the “all clear” sign.
I had hoped to see Hudson and Hunter leaving, but from the area backstage where I was sequestered, I did not.
Eventually the press agent reappeared and told me to take the backstage phone-booth-size elevator up to Guardino’s dressing room, which was on the third or fourth floor.
I hadn’t really minded the delay. The news about Hudson and Hunter being there was a little extra column fodder for me.
So I entered to the mini-elevator and pressed the appropriate button, and at the last minute a woman appeared unexpectedly, entered the elevator with me and, without a word, pressed another button.
There we were, chest to chest, and in a flash I realized it was Bacall. I spontaneously and cheerfully said, “Oh, hi.” She did not make eye contact, and she did not respond. Hey – her privilege. But how much effort does it take? Guardino, on the other hand, apologized for the delay and could not have been friendlier.
Both before and later, I heard Miss Bacall could be, well, unapproachable.
Sixteen years later, almost to the day, when she was a shoo-in to win the supporting actress Oscar for “The Mirror Has Two Faces,” and I don’t think there was an Oscar forecast anywhere that didn’t pick her, she lost the Oscar to an astonished Juliette Binoche (“The English Patient”).
I’ve always wondered if, over the years, enough non-celebrity members of the Motion Picture Academy had had cool close encounters with the actress and if experiences mirroring my awkward elevator ride in the Palace had possibly – just possibly – caught up to her and canceled out a sure Oscar win.
But that Palace memory trumps the many more pleasant ones. – Ed Blank

edblank on May 24, 2008 at 8:25 pm

I’ve covered many Broadway shows at the Palace since it went legit and once had a cordial dressing-room interview with George Hearn during the run of “La Cage aux Folles.”
Was there for a final preview of “Break a Leg,” which promptly folded opening night. I had taken an elderly friend named Tom Bate to the Saturday matinee of the comedy starring Julie Harris and directed by Charles Nelson Reilly.
After the show, Mr. Bate, who was 80-something, asked if I’d mind waiting while he made a quick trip downstairs to the men’s room. After an inordinately long wait, during which the theater had finished emptying and the staff was closing the theater until the evening performance, someone came up to the lobby and asked if I was Mr. Blank.
Mr. Bate, it turns out, has been pistol-whipped by someone who was hiding in one of the stalls after the performance. My friend bled profusely. While Mr. Bate and I waiting for an ambulance to take him to a nearby hospital, director Reilly stopped for a few minutes, and Julie Harris stayed with us until the ambulance arrived. Both were so kind to en elderly man who, though a member of the actors' union, they did not know. – Ed Blank

edblank on May 24, 2008 at 8:15 pm

The first movie and possibly the only movie I saw at the Palace was “Bedtime Story,” with Marlon Brando, Shirley Jones and David Niven, in late July 1964. I still think it’s a funnier movie than it was given credit for being. – Ed Blank

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on May 19, 2008 at 12:09 pm

“Tarzan Triumphs,” the first of the Johnny Weissmuller series released by RKO Radio Pictures, had its NYC premiere engagement here in February, 1943. Here are highlights from Bosley Crowther’s review in The New York Times: “Tarzan is a great big hunk of dumbness and strict isolationist to boot, but even he has the wit to discover that you can’t do business with the Nazis in this world. That is the profound precept of ‘Tarzan Triumphs.’ Of course, being a fine humanitarian, it takes the ape-man quite a while to see that the Nazis who invade his jungle are there to do no one any good. But when the Germans start to kick around his youngster and take pot shots at Cheta the Chimp, then Tarzan rises up in all his fury and Nazi fur thereupon flies…There is the usual tree-top swinging, animal cut-ups and yee-owling through the woods. And as a bit of mental stimulation it is certainly no higher in the scale. It may please a lot of people to see Tarzan banging Nazis right and left. But the jest is decidedly hollow. Cheta the Chimp still has the best brain in the film.” The RKO Palace presented “Tarzan Triumphs” as the top half of a double bill with 20th-Fox’s “Life Begins at Eight-Thirty,” which had previously played the Roxy Theatre with a stage show. When the double feature moved on to the RKO neighborhood circuit, “Life Begins at Eight-Thirty” was top billed, with “Tarzan Triumphs” in support.

LuisV on December 31, 2007 at 8:36 am

I have many memories of the Palace. I saw one of my first Broadway shows at The Palace; a performance of Man of La Mancha in the late 70’s with Richard Kiley. I remember that it was a Tuesday evening and I was in high school. I was wearing a tie and was horrified that virtually every other man was wearing a jacket and tie. I have never felt more undressed than that evening.

Years later in the mid 80’s I went to see La Cage Aux Folles and it was apparent that audinece dress codes were dropping. This time I was appropriately dressed in a jacket and tie. I remember seeing a couple walk in dressed in JEANS and t-shirts! I couldn’t believe it. The were sitting directly in front of me in the front mezzanine. Just before the end of the first act, as the show stopper “I Am What I Am” is being sung on stage, the woman throws up in her seat! My first thought was, “well I guess that’s why she wore jeans.” They managed to clear out of their seats just before the lights went up for intermission. The girl I was with said to me, “I hope they clean that up before they get back.” I said to her, “They’re not coming back! I wouldn’t come back to my seat if I just threw up into it!” Anyway, the theater staff was excellent and cleaned up the mess before the start of the second act.

No, the underdressed couple didn’t come back.

How times change! Nowadays, people wear jogging outfits and flip flops on planes and are just as bad at the theater. The only night of the week that you see people dress up somewhat is on Saturday nights. However, I did go to see the god awful “Lestat” at The Palace and remember that there was some guy wearing a Tank Top (no it wasn’t summer) and he was sitting in one of the boxes. No Class.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on December 31, 2007 at 6:31 am

Happy New Year to all! After celebrating the arrival of 1954 in Times Square, you can stroll over to the RKO Palace to see eight acts of vaudeville and “The Wild One”: