United Palace of Cultural Arts

4140 Broadway,
New York, NY 10033

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Showing 151 - 175 of 247 comments

HowardBHaas on March 4, 2008 at 10:13 am

Warren, that’s a rude comment. I hope the Reverand, and his church, which have so magnficiently maintained this glorious movie palace and made it available (at tours, concerts, etc) for the public to see and enjoy, both live on for a long, long time. They deserve the gratitude of all fans of historic movie palaces.

evmovieguy on December 16, 2007 at 12:07 am

The interior of this theater is one of the most amazing that I have ever seen. Just absolutely overwhelmingly beautiful. I was there tonight to see Neil Young. Unfortunately his show wasn’t as cool as the theater. And that’s coming from a hardcore Neil Young fan. It looks like they are now using this as a regular venue for concerts, and they should!! It’s just great that this place has been preserved as well as it has been. A really amazing piece of architecture.

HowardBHaas on December 11, 2007 at 8:39 pm

I’ve toured this fantastic exotic movie palace.

Here’s more photos from CTA visit this year that I found on flickr.

View link

more lobby or foyer View link

Alto on November 9, 2007 at 8:21 pm

After viewing all of the posted photographs, I can only begin to imagine the skill and craftsmanship [and patience] required to create such a space. This could never be duplicated today on such a grand scale. This is preservation at its finest.

It has been said that “God is in the details”. If that’s the case, then it should be no “wonder” why a church chose this magnificent structure as their home.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on November 8, 2007 at 9:20 am

Thanks, Ken. Interesting about the various colored lighting circuits behind the decorative side wall & ceiling panels in the auditorium to change atmosphere. I wonder if we’ll ever see those restored in our lifetime!

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on November 8, 2007 at 6:24 am

Dave-bronx, I wondered the same thing as I took those photos a couple of weeks back. Perhaps Warren knows the answer to that (in fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if the answer has already been posted on this page, somewhere above).

bruceanthony on November 7, 2007 at 10:54 pm

It would be nice if they lit the blade with Palace which would work since it is the United Palace. Im glad this facility is being discovered again. It was fortunate that reverend Ike bought this theatre and preserved it as a church and is letting other use the theatre for other purposes. I was in the theatre in 2002 and thought it was in great shape. I was able to see all the Loew’s wonder theatre except the Paradise in the Bronx. There is only one wonder theatre left to be revived the Loew’s Kings in Brooklyn.brucec

dave-bronx™ on November 7, 2007 at 8:40 pm

Has that tower on the stagehouse always been there, or did the church add it? It may be enclosing the water tower. Obviously the cross and ersatz stained glass have been added, but the structure itself looks out of place, a different style than the rest of the building.

tkinz on November 7, 2007 at 8:23 pm

the restroom was on the second level, and there were probably about 15 to 20 urinals. it was a full house, but the wait was a few minutes.

tkinz on November 4, 2007 at 9:26 am

Saw Annie Lennox last night. I had no idea what an amazing venue this would be – the interior is in great shape. The accoustics are excellent, and the sight lines, for being such a huge space, were good – much better than city center or the broadway theater, which both seem about similar in size. And what a gorgeous proscenium that frames the stage. It was such a thrill to walk into the lobby and up the staircase – not to mention the huge marble urinals!

William on November 2, 2007 at 7:15 am

Ed, Yes they used the theatre for the night club scenes in “We Own the Night”.
The exterior was also a location in the film “Two Weeks Notice” along with a nice photo montage of theatres that was later cut from the final release version of the film.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on November 2, 2007 at 5:49 am

Thanks for these, Ed. As we know from the lack of photos from some sites, there is no such thing as too much coverage of these palaces.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on November 1, 2007 at 7:21 pm

I was up around the theatre a couple of weeks ago and snapped a number of exterior photos. Probably TOO many, but here goes anyhow:

Broadway & 175th
Facade corner detail
Main facade
Marquee detail
Smile as you pass
Box office
Facade section
Basketweave detail
Marquee panel
Wadsworth & 175th
Wadsworth facade
Upper facade detail
Wadsworth side wall
Wadsworth & 176th
Stage House Tower
Stage House upper facade detail
Broadway & 176th
Building profile looking south on B'way
B'way entrance & facade
B'way fire escapes

Exhaustive and exhausting, I know. I basically just took a walk around the building and fired away. Hope it’s of interest to some folks. I didn’t have the time to wait for the doors to open and take an interior walk through – but I think the series of stunning photographs on the United Palace’s website offer a nice sampling of interior views (not that that’ll stop me from photographing the interior myself one day and posting them right here)!

Bway on October 19, 2007 at 1:28 pm

I am pretty impressed with the acts they are attracting.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on October 19, 2007 at 9:44 am

It is called “The United Palace” in all of the concert ads I’ve seen – which is also the official name for the church used by Rev. Ike’s congregation. They’re making some noise about the venue’s 75th Anniversary on the official website as well as in some radio commercials I’ve been hearing on the local classic rock station. As Alto posted, some big names are being booked into the United Palace – names that might have previously booked the Beacon or WaMu Theatre at MSG (and acts way too big for the smaller Nokia Theatre in Times Square).

Bway on October 19, 2007 at 8:36 am

What do they call the place in it’s use as a concert hall?

Alto on October 16, 2007 at 10:07 am

This venue has become a concert “powerhouse”, attracting big-name rock and pop stars as of late – recent and upcoming music shows scheduled for late 2007 include:
Van Morrison (Oct. 12-14)
The Black Crowes (Oct. 30-31)
Annie Lennox (!!!)(Nov. 3)
Neil Young (Dec. 12-13, 15-16, 18)

Visit Ticketmaster.com for the complete line-up.

World-renowed acts in a dazzling theatre, all worth the trip uptown on the “A” train!

Good luck finding tickets (checking with Ticketmaster online, it appears that the Annie Lennox concert is a “sell-out” (riding on the success of her long-anticipated and recently released CD album “Songs of Mass Destruction”). I am hoping that they add more shows!

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on September 3, 2007 at 7:15 pm

Forgot to add that the trailer features several shots of the 175th’s old vertical sign lit up in red neon spelling out “El Caribe” from top to bottom. I suppose it might be a CGI composite shot, but it sure looks like the sign was physically installed for the movie. Can anyone verify? The film was shot in the late winter/early spring of 2006.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on September 3, 2007 at 7:10 pm

The exterior of this theater (and perhaps the interior) is used to portray the fictional nightclub “El Caribe” in the new crime movie “We Own the Night” starring Joaquin Phoenix, Mark Wahlberg and Robert Duvall. Imdb lists the Loew’s Paradise in the Bronx as a location, so maybe that other “wonder theatre” was used for interior shots of the nightclub. Or maybe IMDB is mistaken.

Alto on May 8, 2007 at 4:56 pm

Here is the full text of the article:

“With Indie Rock on 175th St., City’s Reinvention Rolls Uptown” by Jim Dwyer.
New York Times, Late Edition (East Coast), NY: May 2, 2007; p.B1.

In the time it took a traffic light to change, Joshua Sturm and friends explained what they were doing at the corner of 175th Street and Broadway on Monday evening.

Across the street, Modest Mouse, a rock band whose latest album reached No. 1 in March, would be playing a concert in an hour or so.
The Sturm group was part of a steady stream of indie music fans parading from the A train and the No. 1 toward Broadway, as if someone had suddenly declared Black Sneakers Night in Washington Heights.

Mr. Sturm led a little crew of high school classmates to the concert, just as he found his way to music all over the city. ‘'Josh,’‘ said Nathan Kane, one of the friends, ’‘is the scenester.’'

The arrival on 175th Street of scenesters — even those like Josh Sturm, who all but audibly rolled his eyes at the remark — amounts to at least a minor milestone in the annals of unlikely events.

Over the last six weeks, an enormous movie theater in what had been one of the city’s roughest neighborhoods has emerged as a major force in the world of indie music. Drug gangs have long since dropped out of sight; the theater, a gold-ornamented relic of the Depression saved by a rich televangelist, is surging with life; and a theater operator who lost a job in January is again booking concerts, selling T-shirts and serving kegs of beer, one plastic cupful at a time.

Since late March, 10 shows have sold out at the theater, the United Palace, which has 3,293 seats. Its managers say it is the third-largest auditorium in the city after Madison Square Garden and Radio City Music Hall. The next big acts due to perform there are Bjork and Arcade Fire; all the tickets were bought in minutes.

‘'This came absolutely out of nowhere,’‘ said Jasper Veldhuis, 24, having a cigarette on 175th Street before the show. ’‘The concerts I’ve been to are downtown, Midtown.’'

Dave Anderson, 25, said he had a specific memory: ‘'The riots, that’s what I grew up associating Washington Heights with.’'

In fact, if Mr. Anderson had been standing in the same spot in front of the Palace on a summer evening in 1992, he could have seen a mob rolling up the middle of Broadway. They heaved rocks through plate glass windows, turned over Dumpsters and burned them. The occasion was the shooting of a drug dealer by a police officer, at a time when parts of Washington Heights served as a company town for drug traffickers.

That era has passed. Like many of the people standing outside the theater, Elise Smith, 22, knew nothing about the uproar 15 years ago. By force of habit she usually looks to the Lower East Side for music, not because she had any worries about coming uptown. ‘'We hit up Joe’s Pub all the time, a lot of the smaller venues,’‘ she said. ’‘I was excited to see something different up here.’'

Built on a full city block, seven stories high, the theater has been a looming, dizzying presence since it was opened in 1930 by Loews, ‘'designed by Thomas W. Lamb in Byzantine-Romanesque-Indo-Hindu-Sino-Moorish-Persian-Eclectic-Rococo-Deco style,’‘ as David W. Dunlap wrote in ’‘On Broadway: A Journey Uptown Over Time’‘ (Rizzoli International Publications, 1990).

‘'Gold everywhere,’‘ is the way Evan Williams, 23, put it on Monday.

By the 1960s, all the old movie palaces, as expensive to heat and cool as actual palaces, fell on hard times, and the Loews on 175th Street was closed. In 1969, Frederick Eikerenkoetter, a televangelist known as the Rev. Ike, arrived with $600,000 to buy it. Mr. Eikerenkoetter had prolific success in extracting cash from congregations; the theater was used for his sermons on ‘'thinkonomics,’‘ in which the road to salvation led unabashedly into his bank account. (A sample: ’‘The lack of money is the root of all evil.’‘) Today, the theater enjoys tax-exempt status as a religious property. (Madison Square Garden, with no religious pretensions, is also exempt from taxes.)

For the last decade, Latin acts have occasionally used the space. Mr. Eikerenkoetter’s group, the United Christian Evangelistic Association, still owns the Palace but does not present the concerts. They are organized by Andy Feltz, who ran the Beacon Theater for two decades, until Madison Square Garden took it over this year. ‘'I came up here, saw the place and said, 'Holy mackerel,’ ‘’ Mr. Feltz said. ‘'To a lot of New Yorkers, it’s brand new — nobody knew it existed.’'

42ndStreetMemories on May 2, 2007 at 10:13 am

NY Times has a fantastic slide show of Rev Ike’s church.

The article requires a paid subscription but the slide show is free.

Go to:

Alto on April 21, 2007 at 5:57 am

Great food? Hey, this is Manhattan! Yes, there are the many pizzerias and sandwich shops, BUT if you like Dominican or Spanish-style food – you WILL be in heaven! There’s one place next to “No Parking”, but if you go up and down Broadway, you’ll find plenty of restaurants and some bakeries/pastry/coffee shops.

I also want to inform you that the aforementioned bar is an, ahem, “alternative lifestyle” establishment, but don’t let that dissuade you from visiting â€" it is indeed an excellent stop for pre- (or post-) show cocktails. The place is a relaxed meeting spot for socializing and friends (definitely not “cruisy”), the staff and customers are polite and nice (and they do get a “mixed crowd” â€" all races, ethnicities and genders are welcome – mostly men, but also many of their women “friends”), so you will not feel out of sorts. The music is superb – excellent DJs and mixes ranging from retro house to reggaeton (but sadly, no dancing â€" this is strictly a bar-lounge).

If you keep an open mind, you will really enjoy and appreciate its ultra-modern, sleek style and upscale lounge ambience (which is reflected in the pricey drinks, although there is never a cover charge). It just celebrated its first anniversary, and is probably the nicest and cleanest establishment in the area (and one of the few where most staff and customers speak English) – definitely more Chelsea than Washington Heights – but then again, what else would you expect? ;–)

funhouse on April 20, 2007 at 8:21 am

Thanks Alto! Your info rocks! Since it appears we’ll be getting there early and parking in a lot, we might stop at No Parking for a couple pre-show cocktails! I should have asked this before but does anyone know any good eateries? Thanks!!!!!