29 N. Main Street,
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The Palace Theater in South Norwalk was built by Samuel Roodner. When it opened on December 21, 1914, the Palace contained 1,000 seats.
Over the years, the Palace hosted renowned performers such as Enrico Caruso, Mae West, Harry Houdini, W.C. Fields, among others. At one time, the Palace was known as "the theater you play before you play the Palace in New York."
The popular movie house closed in 1966 and remained dormant until 1975 when Russell Fratto purchased the building with plans for revitalizing it into The Palace Performing Arts Center.
Fratto had founded the Ballet Etudes Academy in 1950 and was looking for a theater for his ballet repertory company.
Rehabilitation work was begun on restoring the auditorium and later, the lobby and foyer were remodeled. A second story became offices and a dance studio.
In 1980-81, The Palace Performing Arts Center presented a mini-season of live ballet, magic, ragtime and opera.
In 1982, with the downturn in the economy and cut backs in funding programs that reduced contributions to the arts nationwide, Fratto terminated programming at the theater.
The theater faced bankruptcy and the wrecking ball.
In 1983 the spaced was leased to The Palace Production Center which invested over $100,000 to remodel the space with completely new electrical, heating, and air conditioning systems.
In 1985 The Palace Production Center exercised an option to purchase the old theater and became the latest owners and heirs to the historic Palace Theater.
The theater was then used for readings and rehearsals. It was preparing to undergo restoration work to restore the Palace Theater back to its grand luster. But this was not to be, and the building began use as a production recording studio.
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