Palace Theatre

1564 Broadway,
New York, NY 10036

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Showing 126 - 150 of 249 comments

jeffdonaldson
jeffdonaldson on December 24, 2007 at 11:55 pm

Warren and saps, thank you for your help. I only recently arrived at this terrific site, so I have much to learn. I have been to NYC several times beginning in 2001. It just kills me that I wasn’t able to experience these theatres in their glory days. I know a number of the Los Angeles theatres but, pending the discovery of a time machine, I’ll have to rely on the experiences available here. And that’s pretty good. Thanks again.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on December 24, 2007 at 8:06 am

Also, you can use Advanced Search and look under the former names feature.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on December 24, 2007 at 5:08 am

The Mayfair is listed at CT under its later sub-divided version as Embassy 2-3-4. There are scads of postings and photos.

jeffdonaldson
jeffdonaldson on December 24, 2007 at 1:51 am

I cannot find a Cinema Treasures page for the Mayfair theatre next to The Palace theatre in Times Square. I searched Mayfair and RKO Mayfair but got nothing. They appeared to be right next to each other in the picture I saw. Were they connected somehow? It did seem to have a separate marquee so the Mayfair should have its own page. What am I doing wrong?

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on October 4, 2007 at 8:28 am

I love this theater.

Bway
Bway on March 27, 2007 at 2:01 am

Forget the last 15 years, while that is no doubt true, I can’t believe how much it’s evcen changed in the last 5 years! Everytime you go there, if you haven’t been there for a few months, it looks totally different.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on March 26, 2007 at 5:18 pm

Will Rogers Follies ran at the Palace from May of 1991 through September ‘93, if that helps date the top photo. I can’t recall when the building on the site of the old Castro showroom building went up – it is shown still under construction in your photo.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on March 9, 2007 at 4:33 am

In November, 1949, the funeral procession of the beloved tapdancer Bill “Bojangles” Robinson made a tour of Manhattan from Harlem to Times Square, with more than one million people turning out to pay their respects. Here it passes the Palace Theatre, where Robinson was one of the top attractions during the heyday of two-a-day vaudeville. The white banner hanging on the front of the Palace’s marquee says “So Long, Bill Robinson. His Dancing Feet Brought Joy to the World”:
www.i8.photobucket.com/albums/a18/Warrengwhiz/maydust.jpg

RobertR
RobertR on February 19, 2007 at 1:37 pm

The order form for “The Diary of Anne Frank”
View link

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on October 28, 2006 at 5:28 pm

Here is another 1966 article on the renovation from the Austin Minnesota Daily Herald:

Vaudeville Is Forever Dead
but the Palace Is Alive Again

NEW YORK â€"The old girl has had a fresh makeup job, and she looks lovely. Her age shows, but with the elegant manner of someone wearing
her years with dignity and grace. She sparkles, she’s wearing
bright red with cream accessories and crystals, and she’s getting ready to play hostess again in a manner which recalls
her years as Broadway’s dowager queen.

She’s the Palace Theater, that mecca of entertainment, that
vaudeville shrine where most of the greats have played (Al Jolson,
George M. Cohan and Sir Harry Lauder however, are among those who never played the Palace). The Palace is the place where, in every movie ever made about early vaudevillians, one would say to the
other, “One day we’ll see our name in lights at the Palace."
The line was always accompanied by a sweeping left to right
gesture of the right arm.

THE NAME IN lights at the Palace now is Gwen Verdon’s, and it’s appropriate that the talented redhead, the delight of critics
and the public, should reopen the house Saturday night
in the new musical “Sweet Charity.” There are still a few finishing
touches to be added to the Palace, but sitting on the plush
red seats, watching a large crew working on the newly enlarged
stage, there were moments when you felt you were watching a
piece of modern choreography.

RALPH ALSWANG, a noted Broadway designer, is in charge of the restoration. It was he who, knocking down plaster walls decorated
in a style he calls “early Ruby Keeler,” discovered much of the original Palace behind the additions. “It is not an exact restoration,” he said, “But we have taken the best of the Palace,
we have avoided the extravagant use of marble which would make
it look like Grand Central Station, and we have made a bouquet to the past”.

THE PALACE OPENED March 24, 1913, and for about the first three months of its existence, it was a box office flop. Then “the divine” Sarah Bernhardt played an engagement there in a series of one-act plays (she was paid in gold before each performance), and the theater
was on its way. An attempt was made several years ago to revive live performances at the Palace. Judy Garland and Harry Belafonte were among those having successful engagements. But the theater reverted to grinding out movies. The last film to play there was Joseph Levine’s “Harlow,” leading a cynic to suggest that in addition to remodeling, it was also necessary to fumigate.

THE THEATER was purchased last August by the Nederlander
Theatrical Corp. owners of successful, elegant houses in
Chicago and Detroit. James Nederlander, a son of the head of the corporation, says the restoration of the Palace cost around
a half-million dollars. “We had to enlarge the orchestra pit from the 15 men used for vaudeville to the 32 needed
for musical theater. We tore out dressing rooms on the side of
the stage to give us more room. We had to rip out all the plumbing.
And we had to install a different system of counterweights
to handle the scenery. After all, in vaudeville they only used
flats. This is the kind of job that pyramids. We knock out one
set of pipes, only to discover they lead to another, and so on.”

THERE’S ONE MAN working at the theater who has vivid memories of the Palace as it was. He is Tom Murray, nicknamed “Mr. Broadway,” the
stage doorman. He played the Palace as a character singer in 1914 and 1917. For the past dozen years, Murray, in his 70s, has been working as the stage doorman at the Helen Hayes Theater, and now
he is returning home. “It’s lovely to be back,” he said.

William
William on September 19, 2006 at 1:47 pm

The top ticket price for “Sweet Charity” was $9.50.

RobertR
RobertR on September 19, 2006 at 1:09 pm

A 1966 Times article on the renovations for Sweet Charity. Although it was only for a short time movies did again play there.
View link

William
William on August 29, 2006 at 10:09 am

If you look at many of the theatre ads in RobertR’s last post. Many of the theatres advertised they were air conditioned. But the Palace’s ad showed that they “Carefully air conditioned” their theatre.

RobertR
RobertR on August 29, 2006 at 9:33 am

1960 Portrait in Black
View link

fultonboy
fultonboy on August 15, 2006 at 6:07 pm

I played harmonica in the orchestra for most of the two year run of “The Will Rogers Follies” at the Palace. 1991-93. Great Show! What a thrill that was! and what a beautiful theater! I worked with Mac Davis, Keith Carradine, Mickey Rooney,Larry Gatlin, Marla Maples. I even got to go to parties with all of them. I still play harmonica in musical theater productions througout the U.S.A. (Big River etc,) But doubt I’ll ever top that! What an experience!

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on July 31, 2006 at 5:10 pm

Back in the late fall of 1963 on the day before Thanksgiving, the unlikely pairing of Jackie Gleason and Steve McQueen held court at the Palace while day and dating at the Paris on 58th and the RKO Albee in B'klyn.

This ad – with Hedda Hopper’s endorsement – appeared a few days earlier in the 11/25/63 edition of the NY Daily News:
A Soldier in the Rain

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on July 31, 2006 at 5:01 pm

Apparently, it didn’t take all that long for the Elvis impersonators to crawl out of the woodwork… Here’s a winter 1978 ad for one such review that had been booked into the Palace Theater a mere 5 months after The King’s passing in August of 1977:
The Legend Lives – Daily News 1/25/78

irajoel
irajoel on July 23, 2006 at 2:38 pm

I saw a few vaudeville shows in the 50s. Films seen include the sign of the pagan ugh. 4 girls in town, judgment at nuremberg, the diary of anne frank, and the judy garland concert in 1967.

I’m putting up nice movie material that relate to movie theatres including souvenir programs. check it out

http://s110.photobucket.com/albums/n94/irajoel/

you can also visit my own website
www.cinemagebooks.com
to view more material.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on July 13, 2006 at 4:36 am

The last booking at the Palace was the Elton John-Anne Rice vampire musical, “Lestat,” said to be one of the worst productions in the history of the Broadway stage. Hopefully, it will never rise again anywhere, even in Las Vegas!

Bway
Bway on July 13, 2006 at 4:30 am

Wow Warren, so you were talking about the this Palace. When did the last show close there, and what show was it? This is really a shame, because this theater shouldn’t be closed.
Why would it be such a long time for the Palace to find a new tenant?

VincentParisi
VincentParisi on July 13, 2006 at 4:25 am

It was supposed to get Mame but a production of that size seems no longer a propect on Broadway. Something big is coming in in the fall.
While we’re at it I hate that they got rid of the great facade and put up a slick plastic looking front. I can’t believe people are paid a ton of money to come up with these horrible new designs. Contemporary architecture not global warming will be the end of the human race.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on July 13, 2006 at 4:19 am

I passed by the shuttered Palace Theatre on Tuesday afternoon, and the entrance was in a shockingly unkempt condition. I hadn’t seen anything as tawdry since the closed and decaying 42nd Street grind houses. I hope that the Palace doesn’t stay that way until it finds another tenant, which could be a long time from now.

VincentParisi
VincentParisi on July 13, 2006 at 4:08 am

Bway you must be very very young. Lucky you!

Bway
Bway on July 13, 2006 at 4:02 am

I remember seeing Beauty and the Beast at the Palace. I had no idea it used to show movies there at one time, I thought it was always a live theater. The theater was beautiful inside, I had balcony seats for Beauty and the Beast.