Palace Theatre

1564 Broadway,
New York, NY 10036

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Showing 151 - 175 of 225 comments

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on October 27, 2005 at 4:55 am

Talking about the trashing of original exteriors, didn’t the Broadway Theater get the same treatment? I remember seeing Les Miserables there in 1988 and the exterior was under scaffolding. I believe the facade was completely modernized (removing all traces of character, taste and architectural merit) to fit in with the new hi-rise that was constructed above and around the theater’s shell. I just took a peak at the Broadway’s page and there is very little information about its architectural style. If anyone has any recollections, please add to the page: /theaters/2250/

I might be attending a performance of the new musical The Color Purple at the Broadway in the coming months so I’ll try to make some mental notes (and see if I can’t grab some photos).

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on October 27, 2005 at 4:37 am

Don’t get me wrong, Vincent… I take issue with it as well. We all probably would have been very sad had the developers kept the Rivoli’s interior but obliterated it’s colonaded facade, but better to have the theater preserved to such a large degree than to have it permanently eradicated from existence as it was. Since most Times Square facades were (or would have been by now) completely obscured by billboards, electronic signage and other forms of over-the-top advertising, I’m quite satisfied to trade off the loss of the original neo-classical limestone facade for the preservation of the Palace’s gorgeously opulent interior appointments.

As for those free programs… were they like the Playbills you get at a Broadway theatrical show? Or like the programs at RCMH? Perhaps towards the end of the roadshow era, not every theater had them. Maybe only the Roxy and RCMH. Perhaps others can elaborate here?

VincentParisi on October 27, 2005 at 4:01 am

Good post however I do take issue with the developer completely obliterating the wonderful New York facade and marquee of the Palace. It had all the glamour and brilliance of a New York jewel. Now it is just another generic attempting to be snazzy might as well be a theme restaurant front.
Even though I came at the depressing tail end of the roadshow era(Fiddler and Nicky and Alex) I don’t remember any free programs or leaflets being handed out. Only programs for sale. Anybody out there who went often in the 50’s and 60’s remember free programs in the NY theaters for hardticket engagements?

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on October 26, 2005 at 12:05 pm

Going back to Gustavelifting’s post in August… those souvenir booklets were not exclusive to classic “roadshow” engagements. I grew up and started going to movies after the “roadshow” era had ended and can recall being able to purchase souvenir booklets for all sorts of movies even at the local neighborhood twins and quartets. Throughout the 70’s and well into the 80’s I was able to purchase these booklets at the candy counters of theaters like the UA Midway, the Lynbrook, the Meadows, Century’s Green Acres Theater and other cinemas. I have booklets for movies like “Moonraker”, “Rocky 2”, “Hair”, “Raiders of the Lost Ark” and all three original “Star Wars” films.

Free programs are another matter alltogether and were probably restricted to the finest first-run theaters back in the “roadshow” heyday… but those souvenir booklets were definitely available on wide release with good regularity through, say, 1983 or 84 when they seemed to just tail off rather rapidly. I remember when I saw “Apocalypse Now!” at it’s first run engagement at the Ziegfeld, the film was presented without any credits or title sequences at all and, instead, patrons were handed a bi-fold that listed the full film credits. I don’t think “Apocalypse Now!” had an exclusive engagement at the Ziegfeld – at least not for long – but that was the only theater in NYC that presented the film in that way, as far as I can recall. The neighborhood showcases ran a version of the film that included the end titles sequence superimposed against the footage of nepalm explosions that you now see when the movie runs on TV (I assume the DVD presents it the same way).

Anyway, the Palace Theater presents a fine example of how developers were able to take advantage of a classic theater’s air rights yet still be able to build over and around to preserve the complete interior of the theater. The Liberty Theater on 42nd Street is another example, sitting silently within the structure of the recent Hilton Hotel and awaiting completion of renovations for adaptive re-use. Too bad the Rivoli Theater just up the road from the Palace couldn’t have been treated with as much respect. Or the old Strand across Duffy Square… Or the Capitol and Astor or ANY of the old palaces that once proudly anchored Times Square. Not to mention the RKO Keith’s in Flushing.

RobertR on October 18, 2005 at 11:24 am

This picture of the Palace is so representative of how Broadway used to be.
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uncleal923 on August 15, 2005 at 4:36 pm

I remember those souvenir booklets. I must have been to those roadshow pictures not knowing what they are.

dennisczimmerman on August 12, 2005 at 5:20 pm

“Roadshow” was the terminology used when the studios opened a particular film in one theatre in larger cities. The film was presented at separate performances with reserved seating. Tickets could be purchased in advance. In many instances the films played for months to even a year or longer at this one theatre. In other threads were mentioned the “roadshow houses” of New York City. They were the Loew’s Capitol and State. The Warner, Rivoli, Criterion and DeMille Theatres all located in the Times Square area. On a usual week, there was normally one evening performance and a matinee performance on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Additional shows were added for holiday periods and Summer months. In most instances the roadshow films were presented in 70mm with 6 track magnetic stereo sound. Paper programs were handed out and in many cases “souveneir books” were available for purchase. Ticket prices were higher and there were different prices for the various locations in these theatre palaces – Orchestra, Loge, Balcony, etc.
That was the way to see movies! It was an event and not just a night out at the movies. Living in Lancaster, PA, my parents used to take us to center city Philadelphia to see the “roadshow films.”

uncleal923 on August 10, 2005 at 6:17 pm

What was “Roadshow”?

dennisczimmerman on August 8, 2005 at 4:08 pm

Prior to “Chips”, the reissue of “Ben Hur” by MGM played at the Palace on roadshow 6/18/69 to 8/20/69. “Chips” Opened on 11/5/69 and played to 3/15/70.

VincentParisi on July 28, 2005 at 6:34 am

Chips not only was the last roadshow at the Palace it was its penultmate film.
I wouldn’t mind seeing films back at the Palace it meant displacing Magic Kingdom E ticket attractions and jukebox musicals.

RobertR on July 28, 2005 at 6:17 am

1962 Bobby Darin & Sandra Dee
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RobertR on July 27, 2005 at 5:04 pm

“Goodbye Mr. Chips” in 1969 must have been one of the last roadshows at the Palace
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VincentParisi on July 25, 2005 at 11:25 am

If you go to the next page of the above link you see the ad for the post Criterion showcase reissue of My Fair Lady in ‘71 which says in Super Panavision 70. I think we could safely assume that this is false advertising.

RobertR on July 25, 2005 at 10:13 am

Warner Brothers called their showcase “Hollywood Showcase” when “Dead Ringer” played the Palace in 1964.
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RobertR on July 25, 2005 at 10:09 am

Sinatra never played a regular concert at the Palace, but I know that when William B. Williams died, he was one of the performers that were part of the memorial service WNEW held there.

uncleal923 on July 24, 2005 at 6:10 pm

Did Sinatra ever play the stage on the palace?

RobertR on July 23, 2005 at 6:24 pm

Ray Charles & Sarah Vaughn played the Palace in 1957 with an Italian import
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rlvjr on July 21, 2005 at 6:46 pm

JUDY GARLAND dodn’t just play the PALACE, the same show also played Washington DC’s best-ever theater, LOEW’S CAPITOL. Also in Baltimore at their lavish STANLEY, where I saw it. An hour? No, it was 2 hours.

RobertR on July 19, 2005 at 12:44 pm

Judy performed for at least an hour, try getting a star to do that nowadays.

VincentParisi on July 19, 2005 at 12:35 pm

How long was she on stage considering it was two a day 7 days a week and there was a bill of other acts?

BoxOfficeBill on July 17, 2005 at 7:32 am

What a downer! For fifty-one years I’ve believed that I saw “Creature” in 3-D as God meant it to be. Possibly I derived something of a 3-D effect from it by looking at it cross-eyed. As a movie-mad kid, I discovered that crossing my eyes at a flat image could do that. Years later an ophthalmologist told me (1) that there is some truth to my assumption and (2) that viewing so many movies strabismically provided good exercise for my young optic nerves. Who knows? I began wearing eyeglasses in my mid-twenties and am now a prisoner of bi-focals.