Palace Performing Arts Center

246 College Street,
New Haven, CT 06510

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Palace Performing Arts Center

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The Palace Performing Arts Center was formerly known as the Roger Sherman Theater and before that, the Palace Theater. It is currently closed.

Contributed by Roger Katz

Recent comments (view all 22 comments)

spectrum
spectrum on September 28, 2008 at 7:55 am

According to the article the Palace was built as the Roger Sherman in 1925, on the site of the Rialto which burned in 1921.

The developer, David Nyberg, has been maintaining the building (it’s been kept heated since pipes burst 2 years ago, flooding it.)

They’ve put on a new roof and done complete asbestos removal and plumbing work, but right now a lot more needs to be done with regard to HVAC, electrical, adequate dressing rooms, concession area, administrative offices, bigger lobby, etc. Ceiling has been repainted midnight blue, and a lot of the ornamental details are well preserved.

The main problem is finding an entertainment group to run the theatre – they said once one is found, the building could be ready to open in 6 months.

ACooke108
ACooke108 on March 27, 2009 at 4:47 pm

While we want to see all old theaters preserved, the reality is that New Haven already has the Shubert. There is no need for a second theater. Even a city as large as New Haven can only support one arts center, and in these tough economic times, that is truer than ever. Look at Stamford, where the bankrupt SCA has to bring in Jerry Springer and his ilk to fill their second theater, the Rich Forum.

ACooke108
ACooke108 on April 23, 2009 at 8:33 am

Well, never say never. I was just on the “Live Nation” Chevy (Oakdale) Theater site, and in the lower corner they link to other CT. theaters that are part of the Live Nation network. And one of them is the Palace Theater. THIS PALACE THEATER! Same address and all. You go to the page, and it says no listings at this time. Regardless, is something going on with this theater that we don’t know about? Hey, Live Nation has big pockets. If they want their own theater in New Haven, all the better.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 21, 2010 at 5:10 am

The Roger Sherman Theatre reopened on December 23, 1961, following a major remodeling designed by architect Drew Eberson. The house was then the Stanley Warner circuit’s zone flagship, according to the item in Boxoffice of January 1, 1962, which also said: “The interior was completely stripped for the extensive wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling renovation program.” The opening movie was Disney’s “Babes In Toyland.”

A rendering of the new front of the Roger Sherman was published in Boxoffice of December 18, 1961. This item said that the remodeled house would feature continental seating, and that total capacity would be reduced by 350 seats.

jackmush
jackmush on March 30, 2010 at 10:00 am

I was an usher at the Roger Sherman Theater 1966/67.
In 1966 The Roger Sherman theater held the Premier of the remake of the movie “Stagecoach” Winchester Corp was the sponsor and sponsored this gala event because it was their 100th anniversary.
IThe ushers were lined up and ushered the stars that were there to their seats. I ushered Anne Francis next to Bob Cummings.
The Director Martin Ratkin wanted to kill the projectionist, because the film broke twice, with the packed house.
Other dignitaries were Michael Connors (who I told he could not smoke) and Slim Pickins. email me for more info
art.fil

atmos
atmos on May 19, 2010 at 2:52 am

This theatre is also listed in the John and Drew Eberson archives at the Wolfsonian in Florida as having alterations around 1944.

finestkind
finestkind on May 18, 2012 at 3:52 am

I have a recording of my grandfather, Frank Konitz, playing the pipe organ at the Roger Sherman in 1970 as guest artist for the American Theater Organ Society. In the introduction the MC states that in 1927 the theater was known as the Olympia. Can anyone confirm or deny?

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 24, 2012 at 2:48 pm

Linkrot repair: Here is the new location of the rendering of the Roger Sherman Theatre’s new front in Boxoffice of December 18, 1961.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 24, 2012 at 3:12 pm

finestkind: The house listed at Cinema Treasures as the Paramount Theatre opened in 1915 as the Olympia Theatre. I don’t know exactly when it was renamed the Paramount, but it’s quite likely that it was still called the Olympia in 1927. It was certainly still the Olympia in 1924, when Anthony Dumas made this drawing of it.

The Paramount also had an organ that was still operational into the middle years of the 20th century. Most likely, the MC on the record conflated the two theaters in his mind and misspoke.

lewiswardell
lewiswardell on March 18, 2013 at 1:06 pm

I took over temporarily as division manager for RKO’s Connecticut Division at the end of 1978 while running the Merritt Theater in Bridgeport. Although the company was managing commercial property in the building, movie showings had been suspended. We received a request to open for a religious revival and took the theater out of mothballs for it. The Reverend Bob Pulley (?) brought in the Edwin Hawkins Singers and a large staff for a one-off that was fascinating – speaking-in-tongues, curing the afflicted, ecstatic dancing etc. I left the chain shortly thereafter and haven’t seen the venue since. It was awesome to explore the empty theater and sub-basements when I got there. Lots of memorabilia and equipment had basically been abandoned when showings stopped.

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