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I had forgotten about the Palace Diner. It was just across the street from a Shell gas station. I always remember that even though it was closest to our house, my dad refused to buy gas there because he said they charged too much. He use to drive about four blocks so he didn’t have to pay 29 cents a gallon. Boy! Those were the days. We lived on Fifth Avenue between Hoosick and Hutton across the street from St. Peter’s School. I wish I had photos, but I don’t.
It is amazing, I took my grandkids there a few months ago and and it was still $1.50. I remember a number of years ago they use to rent videos in the lobby, but gave it up. While the inside is pretty plain, with the walls all painted black, the seats are comfortable and the projection and sound are fine. Strange as it may seem, it was the first theatre in the area to install Dolby Stereo and as a result ran “Star Trek-The Movie” first-run because Paramount insisted on Dolby and the first-run theatres, at the time, didn’t have it.
The Palace anchored the north end of the block I grew up on. It was a second-run neighborhood theater seating about 600. While I only have fleeting memories of seeing films there as a small boy, my dad worked part-time at The Palace, for many years, changing the marquee and replacing the posters and stills and carrying down the films from the booth. Actually, it wasn’t located downtown near the first-run houses. It was in a neighborhood business block about a mile and a half north of downtown. For years it was managed by a gentleman named Vic Bunns (not sure of that spelling).