Palace Theatre

1564 Broadway,
New York, NY 10036

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Showing 126 - 150 of 228 comments

RobertR on February 19, 2007 at 2:37 pm

The order form for “The Diary of Anne Frank”
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kencmcintyre on October 28, 2006 at 6:28 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 on September 19, 2006 at 2:47 pm

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

RobertR on September 19, 2006 at 2:09 pm

A 1966 Times article on the renovations for Sweet Charity. Although it was only for a short time movies did again play there.
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William on August 29, 2006 at 11:09 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 on August 29, 2006 at 10:33 am

1960 Portrait in Black
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fultonboy on August 15, 2006 at 7:07 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 6:10 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 6:01 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 on July 23, 2006 at 3:38 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

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

Bway on July 13, 2006 at 5:30 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 on July 13, 2006 at 5:25 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.

VincentParisi on July 13, 2006 at 5:08 am

Bway you must be very very young. Lucky you!

Bway on July 13, 2006 at 5:02 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.

mauriceski on March 15, 2006 at 7:34 pm

Warren,did RKO have a Broadway Movie House for first run films?

Patsy on February 1, 2006 at 4:33 pm

In Dean and Me written by Jerry Lewis the Palace is mentioned as being one of the many theatres that Martin & Lewis performed over their 10 years together. Is this the theatre?

RobertR on January 2, 2006 at 3:53 pm

1962 Judgement at Nuremberg
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dennisczimmerman on December 31, 2005 at 10:27 am

The first souvenir programs I purchased for “Ben Hur”, “Spartacus,” “How The West Was Won”, and a few others, were hard bound programs. I think they cost $1 or $5! Then later they changed to glossy paper covers. I have about 20-25 in my collection from various roadshow films back in the 50’s and 60’s.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 30, 2005 at 3:19 am

EdSolero: It’s been a couple of months since you asked about roadshow souvenir programs, but here’s what I know about them:

They were usually about nine by twelve inches or larger, contained 32 pages or more, were printed on heavy, glossy paper, with a slightly heavier paper cover. They contained pictures of the stars, stills from the movie, behind-the-scenes photos, text about the movie, the actors, the director and producer, the composer of the score, etc. There was no advertising in them, unlike the free playbills given out at legitimate theatres. The roadshow programs were not free. I only ever bought one of them, myself, at the roadshow of the original release of Lawrence of Arabia, at the Warner Theatre in Beverly Hills. I think it cost a dollar. (My balcony ticket for a Wednesday matinee was only a dollar fifty, if I recall correctly. The booklets would have been too costly to give away, with some ticket prices being that low.)

These souvenir programs are sometimes available in the movie memorabilia section of eBay, though the sellers' photographs of them don’t give a very good idea of what they are really like. I would suppose that retail shops specializing in movie memorabilia would also sometimes have them for sale, so if there is such a shop in your area, you might be able to get a close look at an example.

rennie on December 26, 2005 at 11:20 pm


Not sure if this is the right theater, but from old photos compard to what I saw, the Palace Theater, Staten Island, New York, is in ruins, closed.

It’s located on Richmond Terrace, which is a long street that runs along the north shore of the island.

Some GREAT old postcard renderings of many New York theaters and other landmarks can be found at this website:

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rennie on December 26, 2005 at 11:19 pm

I am looking for info on Percival “Patty” Roberts, my great-grandfather, stage manager of Palace Theater in New York (not sure if Staten Island or Manhattan). I have old turn-of-century photos of him standing next to switchboard backstage which is about six feet wide by eight feet tall…, lots of “Frankenstein” switches.

He knew vaudeville stars Al Jolson, Eddie Cantor, etc. My grandmather would fill in between acts singing opera onstage as a little girl. Can you help me?

Thanks, Rennie Miller

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on November 29, 2005 at 9:05 am

One Sunday afternoon in the mid-1980s I was walking west on 47th St and noticed that the scene door of the Palace was open— they were loading in a TV awards show. The scene door was on the rear stage wall, near its north end. The stage door for performers was located under some fire escapes at stage-right on W. 47th St. As I stood in the alley by the scene door, I noticed a sign in large white letters painted on the wall of a building at the south end of the alley which said “Stage Door” with an arrow pointing to the right. This implies that the stage door of the Palace was originally at stage-left, not at stage-right on 47th St. as it is today. Does anyone know anything about this ??

RobertR on November 8, 2005 at 2:09 pm

Check out this anti-Japanese ad from 1943
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RobertR on November 7, 2005 at 10:52 am

New Years 1960 “Can Can” day and dated with the Brooklyn RKO Albee
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