146-48 S. Murphy Street,
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This former Palace Theatre has been altered so many times, but often with such imagination that it is hard to tell what is historic and what isn’t. To set the record straight, only the two arched windows on the facade date from the theatre’s 1920’s opening as the Strand Theatre, they were found to still exist beneath a layer of plaster during the last remodeling and have been restored. The terrazzo sidewalk obviously dates to a later Moderne remodeling. In the 1960’s, the theatre’s facade was stripped of all ornament and the marquee was slimmed down to a plain canopy.
In the late-1980’s the facade was given a Neo-Moderne reworking—quite attractive, with the idea that the theatre would be turned into a beer-and-pizza movie house. This project failed, and the theatre remained dark for a few years.
Finally a new effort to turn it into a restaurant, nightclub, and meeting/rental facility materialized. The Neo-Moderne facade was kept, and the interior redone in a wild, but quite fine, combination of Pompeiian, Egyptian, and African Tribal—with Postmodern accents—motifs. The Moderne proscenium from its last days as a movie house still exists, though somewhat altered, but the seating has been replaced by a dance floor, thrust stage, and terraced table seating in the rear.
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