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According to the local Vision Appraisal site for Danbury (http://data.visionappraisal.com/DanburyCT/findpid.asp?iTable=pid&pid=5010) the Palace’s appraised value is $4,472,200 and the assessed value (70% of appraised value) is $3,130,500).
It really helps to read the “Do you remember?” feature in the Sunday paper.
100 years ago
The first floor of the Godfrey Block at the corner of Main and Crosby streets in Danbury is being made by its owner, E.G. Godfrey, into a motion picture theater, with a seating capacity of 500 people.
So please change seating capacity to 500.
The landlord is accommodating but if you’re in the area, try Dec. 31 from 4-8pm for First Night.
They are hiring a manager. http://www.idealist.org/en/job/322132-192
Saw a commercial on the news today that the Palace will be showing some classic christmas cult films these weekends with one being a double feature.
I’m so glad there are comments about this before I post this. It was in the NYTimes on DEC 7 and indeed it’s closed. Here’s the paragraph.
Scattered along the western stretch of the island of Molokai are the deserted structures of a vanquished people. This building with the title-free marquee was once a movie theater. That building, a luxurious lodge with a cow-ranch motif; notice the stop signs that say â€œWhoaâ€ to nobody.
This is interesting and was mentioned in the NewsTimes a few weeks ago. It was about a Bridgeport cop who investigated breakins here and at the Colonial and Savoy and brought his camera with him. He has documented orbs and apparitions of moviegoers in the seats and hooked up with famed CT ghosthunters, The Warrens. http://www.photoshow.com/watch/JE9DF6BY/ Pic 40o-64 with 44 of note.
This is interesting and was mentioned in the NewsTimes a few weeks ago. It was about a Bridgeport cop who investigated breakins here, The Savoy and at the Colonial and brought his camera with him. He has documented orbs and apparitions of moviegoers in the seats and hooked up with famed CT ghosthunters, The Warrens. http://www.photoshow.com/watch/JE9DF6BY/ Pic 40o-64 with 44 of note.
This is interesting and was mentioned in the NewsTimes a few weeks ago. It was about a Bridgeport cop who investigated breakins here and at the Poli and Savoy and brought his camera with him. He has documented orbs and apparitions of moviegoers in the seats and hooked up with famed CT ghosthunters, The Warrens. http://www.photoshow.com/watch/JE9DF6BY/ Pic 40o-64 with 44 of note.
I saw the story this afternoon on channel 8.
I was going to post this a few months ago, as I was biking through Groton trying to find this and couldn’t. I don’t think it stands, though a shopping center is nearby.
I biked by there yesterday and sure enough the box office was open, so I parked and went in. It is quite small. There was a performance being readied with draping ceiling fabric, stars and balloons. The admin office was busy and they said I could walk around but not on the balcony because they were getting ready for that evenings' performance. The bathrooms were nice and the offices were big, which were on the left side lobby with windows facing downtown. The other side was a concession/waiting area.
The marquee’s underside had no lightbulbs at all, but there were 18 holes.
Going inside, behind you in the center was a waist high sound booth and the floor was basically concrete with no carpet. There was a painted “yellow brick road”-type on the floor which forked at the rear. The faux frescos of “A Midsummer Nights Dream” adorned the entire wall on both sides and looked as if they were 80 years old, something management told me was done on purpose by the artist, who also did the same design on the wraparound balcony.
It was very colorful inside and the bright paintwork of the proscenium seemed very vivid and playful. Attached to the center of it was a gigantic music lyre. There were folding seats in the orchestra, numbering about 250, which must make for a great performance space since when they are removed, would leave an empty community space. The chandelier above is small, but the perfect size and was illuminated. I have pics from my cell phone if anyone is interested.
Former Bethel Cinema owner Paul Schuyler, now manager of Bank Street Theatre in New Milford was on the front page of the News-Times yesterday holding some film and digital film. They are the first theater in the area to make the move to digital projection, not even the big area multiplex is doing this yet.
Tomorrow night they are showing Disney’s 3-D movie, “Bolt”. This week they are opening one new digital screening room for about $100,000. Soon the other 2 rooms will change. He touted that a digital film’s 1000th viewing is as crisp as the first showing but that film offers a “certain warmth and flicker”.
Yesterday and today at 7pm, before “Bolt” opens, they will show off their new digital screen at $5 showings of 3-D film, “Fly me to the Moon.”
Bethel Cinema manager Maria Schrader was quoted.
The theater was on the front page of the News-Times yesterday with mananger and former Bethel Cinema owner, Paul Schuyler, holding some film and digital film. They are the first theater in the area to make the move to digital projection, not even the big area multiplex is doing this yet.
The third post on here with the link to the marquee is the exact same photo (with a different angle) that I saw yesterday at New Haven Union Station. If you are facing the escalators, walk to the left and along the wall you will find it at the end.
Was there the other day, yes it’s closed down and the windows have been tinted so you cannot see inside.
Was here last night for the Sideshow and Animation Festival, Forgot to Laugh. Nice place. It’s small, but inside it feels cavernous. Original seats are comfy, there are 136 but there were extra chairs added, maybe 100 more.
The pedestrian plaza out front is great to gather, the inside lobby is small but cozy and the hallway on the left was perfect for the art gallery displays. When the display was taken down, the original pictures on the wall were left, depicting all the productions that had been presented there. The bathrooms are way in the back, there’s an upstairs with 2 offices and a large backstage area.
The auditorium is nice, with the ceilings being at least 25 feet at the apex, with a vast array of tracks and lighting, as well as extensive lighting on the stage. They had an in-house movie screen that came down on electrified cable in between acts. Seats were comfy, but the backs weren’t. Overall, a great place.
Ah, I counted 320. It really feels like you are on a ship, the screen curves like a sail and the stairs are really steep. It feels like it needs 20 more rows to compensate and it’s like a ride. I felt that way during the day when it was open with no movie.
That “Rock Fans Jam Theater to Cheer Grateful Dead” article was part of a montage in the GD DVD “View from the Vault” Volume 2, special features section video of “Liberty”.
From today’s News-Times. “My goal is to keep the theater active until a full restoration and renovation has taken place.”
Palace Theater undergoes a rebirth
By Dirk Perrefort
DANBURY — The Palace Theater, which opened 80 years ago this month during the tail end of the roaring 20s, is experiencing a rebirth.
Opened for the first time in years this past spring for the Connecticut Film Festival, groups can now rent the building for fundraisers and other events. A local women’s group will be the first to use the building next month.
LouAnn Bloomer, president of The Bridge To Independence and Career Opportunities, said her organization is looking forward to holding a red carpet awards ceremony at the theater Oct. 4.
“We’re just so excited to be the first organization that has the opportunity to have an event there,” she said. “It’s truly a beautiful building. It’s a real gem for the city.”
She added that the group plans to hold a movie-themed awards dinner complete with red carpet, buffet dinner, cafe tables and theater props.
“It’s going to be a great event,” she said. “For people to visit the Palace is like going back — it’s opening a piece of history that people remember from their younger years.”
Joseph DaSilva Jr., the owner of the Palace Theater on Main Street, said he is opening the building to any group or organization that wants to hold an event there. The building has seating for around 420 people, he said, and he is in the process of making projection equipment available for any groups that want to show movies as part of their event.
“Everything seems to be coming together,” he said. “My goal is to keep the theater active until a full restoration and renovation has taken place.”
DaSilva said he is in the process of developing a nonprofit organization that will operate the theater, which will open up a wealth of federal and state grants that can assist renovation efforts. Donations to the theater would also be tax-deductible.
“The work has already begun and hopefully in the near future we will be gaining the nonprofit status,” he said.
DaSilva is hoping the Palace will once again become a vibrant part of the city’s downtown with a variety of different events, including artist showings and performances from nationally known musicians.
“Once it’s completed I believe we can probably seat up to 1,800 people there,” he said. “It will be a multicultural and multi-use facility. This is the theater’s 80th anniversary and it’s being reborn.”
Mayor Mark Boughton applauded DaSilva’s efforts in getting the theater up and running.
“He’s been very motivated in the last six months,” Boughton said. “I think the film festival earlier this year helped to ignite the spark. I would love to see the building restored to its original luster.”
Andrea Gartner, the executive director of CityCenter, said she first realized the role the Palace could play downtown when the theater opened its doors for a digital multimedia showing during the city’s New Years Eve celebration last year.
“To be outside on the library plaza and see people coming in and out of the Palace — it was then that I really understood the keystone that the theater is in downtown development,” she said. “Record crowds at the summer concert series and the Taste of Danbury shows there is an appetite for people in the community to come downtown for arts and multicultural entertainment. Danbury is the urban center for the Housatonic Valley region and we should be providing amenities people expect from an urban center such as a performing arts center.”
Mentioned in the NYTimes CT Section about the last drive-ins in Connecticut.
Mentioned in the NYTimes CT Section about the 2 drive-ins left in Connecticut.
Mentioned in a NYTimes CT Section piece on the two drive-ins left in Connecticut.
Excellent article on this theatre in the NYTimes CT Section.