Loew's Palace Theater

1306 F Street NW,
Washington, DC 20004

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TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on December 10, 2009 at 8:34 am

Interesting history, and great pictures.

MPol
MPol on May 5, 2009 at 4:43 pm

That was a beautiful-looking theatre, both inside and out. It’s a pity what happened to it.

Ron3853
Ron3853 on January 26, 2009 at 5:51 pm

Adding to my previous posts above, here is another batch of films that played at Loew’s Palace theater. Like the others above, the dates are Wednesday dates, although in later years, films may have opened on Fridays. Research is from Variety and microfilms of The Washington Post. There were a number of weeks that the theater was used for live concerts…sorry, but I did not write down who the acts were, but many of them were soul/rhythm & blues groups or artists.

01/01/72 Dirty Harry
01/26/72 (stage show)
02/02/72 The School Girls
02/16/72 (stage show)
02/23/72 I Spit on Your Grave
03/01/72 (stage show)
03/08/72 Soul Soldier
03/22/72 (stage show)
03/29/72 The Ten Commandments
04/12/72 Georgia, Georgia
04/19/72 05/12/72 The Abductors
05/24/72 Malcolm X (documentary)
06/07/72 The Final Comedown
06/14/72 The Seduction of Inga
06/21/72 Ben
06/28/72 A Place Called Today
07/05/72 Top of the Heap
07/19/72 Come Back, Charleston Blue
08/16/72 (stage show)
08/23/72 Super Fly
10/25/72 (stage show)
11/15/72 Trouble Man
12/20/72 Black Gunn
01/17/73 Slaughter Hotel
01/31/73 (stage show)
02/07/73 Riot/The Legend of Nigger Charley
02/14/73 Trick Baby
03/21/73 Scream Bloody Murder
03/28/73 The Bus is Coming/Honky
04/04/73 (stage show)
04/11/73 The Mack
05/23/73 The Soul of Nigger Charley
06/06/73 Charley One-Eye
06/13/73 The Hammer of God
06/20/73 Super Fly TNT
07/11/73 Fox Style
07/25/73 Cleopatra Jones
09/12/73 Detroit 9000
09/26/73 Gordon’s War
10/17/73 Save the Children
10/31/73 Fearless Fighters
11/14/73 Isaac Hayes: The Black Moses of Soul
11/21/73 Blood of the Dragon
11/28/73 Queen Boxer
12/05/73 Black Belt
12/12/73 Triple Irons
12/19/73 The Chinese Professionals
01/09/74 Fists of the Double K
01/16/74 Black Belt Jones
02/06/74 Karate Killer
02/13/74 Deadly China Doll
02/20/74 The Godfathers of Hong Kong
02/27/74 The Bamboo Brotherhood
03/06/74 Man of Iron
03/13/74 From China, With Death
03/20/74 Three Tough Guys
04/03/74 Willie Dynamite
04/17/74 The Hong Kong Connection
04/24/74 Blood Fingers/The Hammer of God
05/01/74 Black Eye
05/15/74 The Chinese Godfather
05/29/74 The Black Connection/Run, Nigger, Run
06/05/74 The Take
06/19/74 Detroit 9000/Fox Style
06/26/74 Three the Hard Way
07/24/74 The Education of Sonny Carson
08/07/74 Johnny Tough!
09/04/74 Black Samson
09/18/74 Together Brothers
10/02/74 Lady Sings the Blues/The Education of Sonny Carson
10/09/74 Zebra Killer
10/23/74 Foxy Brown/Truck Turner
10/30/74 Hangup
11/13/74 The Street Fighter
11/27/74 The Black Hooker
12/11/74 Enter the Dragon/The Five Fingers of Death
12/18/74 Boss Nigger

One final post to be added later will detail the films that played there from January 1, 1975 until the closing of the Palace in April 1978.

MPol
MPol on January 25, 2009 at 4:29 pm

Wow!! What a lot of movies that played at this theatre!! Too bad about what happened to it. It sounds as if the robbery and the shootings that ensued in its wake hastened its demise. What a shame.

At the risk of sounding obsessive, did the film West Side Story ever play there at all? Just curious.

PJCooper
PJCooper on January 25, 2009 at 11:38 am

Loew’s Palace also served as a concert venue: I saw Quicksilver Messenger Service there in 1971, with Brewer & Shipley. A suburban kid, I had little experience with downtown movie palaces except for the Uptown and was dazzled by its still-opulent interior.

mp775
mp775 on December 29, 2008 at 5:05 am

The Palace is visible in the background of this 1979 photo (indicating that the building was not torn down in 1978).

edblank
edblank on July 20, 2008 at 9:19 am

“Mogambo” was October 1953. “At War With the Army,” the third of the 16 Martin and Lewis movies and the first in which they were top-billed, opened in December 1950 to big business. It was the picture in which they really hit their stride, although it does not hold up very well today. It was re-released a few years later but didn’t do much at that time.

rlvjr
rlvjr on July 19, 2008 at 9:08 pm

Yes, Mogambo was earlier.

Ron3853
Ron3853 on June 30, 2008 at 4:47 am

Mogambo – 1966??? Is that a typo?

rlvjr
rlvjr on June 28, 2008 at 2:18 pm

LOEW’S 3 downtown theatres used to have continuous performances all day: Feature, cartoon, news, previews. Opening at 10:45 am except Sunday 12:45, features were usually at 11:00, 1:10, 3:20, 5:30, 7:40, 9:45 and Sat 11:45. Good pictures did strong business all day every day. Sometimes they were swamped with customers, even in the 1950’s when people stayed home with their 8" Motorola b&w TV’s.

The Palace had a long corridor between the double box office and the theatre, lined with medeival torches and mirrors. Upstairs beyond that was a big lobby — ample room for standees. In 1953 when they had Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis (the hottest act in America) in “AT WAR WITH THE ARMY” my brother and I bought tickets and went inside at 7:30 but didn’t get inside to the actual theater until after 9:30. Similarly, in 1966 for Clark Gable and Grace Kelly in MOGAMBO a two hour wait. But, guess what, it was fun. And seeing a major hit movie in a great atmospheric theatre like the PALACE was never ever less than wonderful.

Local619
Local619 on May 21, 2008 at 6:22 pm

Pictures of The Palace on LOC site..

View link

edblank
edblank on May 14, 2008 at 2:30 pm

The only movie I’ve ever seen in a D.C. theater was “Bad Day at Black Rock” at Loew’s Palace early in 1954. A memorable occasion. – Ed Blank

tjhump
tjhump on January 25, 2006 at 8:10 am

My grandfather (Joe Monaco) was a film projectionist at “The Palace” (as he called it) for many years. I believe from the 30’s until it closed in the late 70’s. He was 73 years old when he retired from there.
Does anyone know of someone who may have known or worked with him?

rlvjr
rlvjr on June 12, 2005 at 7:13 pm

LOEW’S PALACE was a wonderful place to see the very best MGM and 20th Century-Fox pictures (plus others) in a deluxe palace-like atmosphere. I saw over 100 movies here, but one special occasion was the first night of THE COURT JESTER in the late 1950’s. DANNY KAYE performed for two shows one night only. He got so carried away that his 30 minute appearance lasted an extra 60 minutes. Regular price too. $1.49, I think. On the dark side, LOEW’S PALACE and the heart of downtown Washington began a lingering death with the 1968 Martin Luther King Riots, when vandals took it upon themselves to burn and loot at will. Scan the movies above you’ll see a rapid turn from quality to junk in 1968. Downtown Washington was dead and scarred for 20 years. We still have no meaningful downtown, and NO I have not forgiven the vandals.

RobertR
RobertR on March 17, 2005 at 11:15 am

That’s a great old night shot

Ron3853
Ron3853 on February 24, 2005 at 1:13 pm

Loew’s still ran this theater well into the 1970s.

RobertR
RobertR on February 24, 2005 at 1:10 pm

Who ran this theatre after 1969 when Loews dropped it?

HenryAldridge
HenryAldridge on February 24, 2005 at 12:54 pm

My research indicates that Dick Leibert, famous chief organist at Radio City Music Hall, began his career as a theater organist at Loew’s Palace. Apparently, he became friends with the resident organist, and when that individual needed a substitute, Leibert was called in. Does anyone have additional information about Leibert’s tenure here or his subsequent work with the Loew chain?

Ron3853
Ron3853 on September 11, 2004 at 6:49 am

Films which played at Loew’s Palace in Washington, DC from January 1964 to December 1971.
01/01/64 Move Over, Darling
02/12/64 Man’s Favorite Sport
03/04/64 Sunday in New York
03/25/64 The Seven Faces of Dr. Lao
04/01/64 Shock Treatment
04/08/64 Night Must Fall
04/22/64 Lilies of the Field
04/29/64 The Best Man
05/27/64 A Distant Trumpet
06/03/64 Advance to the Rear
06/10/64 The Carpetbaggers
08/19/64 McHale’s Navy
09/02/64 The Killers
09/16/64 Quo Vadis
09/30/64 Fate is the Hunter
10/21/64 Where Love Has Gone
11/11/64 Youngblood Hawke
12/16/64 Curse of Frankenstein/Horror of Dracula
12/23/64 The Pleasure Seekers
01/13/65 Quick, Before It Melts!
01/20/65 Baby, the Rain Must Fall
02/03/65 Psycho
02/17/65 Sylvia
03/03/65 Crack in the World
03/10/65 Hush, Hush…Sweet Charlotte
03/24/65 Bus Riley’s Back in Town
04/07/65 In Harm’s Way
05/19/65 Dr. No/From Russia, With Love
06/30/65 Von Ryan’s Express
08/04/65 Harlow
08/18/65 Operation Crossbow
09/29/65 Ship of Fools
11/03/65 The King and I
11/17/65 The Cincinnati Kid
12/22/65 Do Not Disturb
01/12/66 The Spy With My Face/To Trap a Spy
01/26/66 Our Man Flint
03/30/66 The Ten Commandments
04/27/66 Harper
06/15/66 A Big Hand for the Little Lady
06/22/66 Nevada Smith
07/20/66 Assault on a Queen
08/03/66 The Glass-Bottom Boat
08/24/66 Cat on a Hot Tin Roof/Butterfield 8
09/14/66 Our Man Flint/Von Ryan’s Express
09/21/66 One Spy Too Many
09/28/66 Mister Buddwing
10/05/66 Seconds
10/12/66 An American Dream
10/19/66 Kaleidoscope
10/26/66 Dead Heat on a Merry-Go-Round
11/09/66 The Professionals
12/21/66 Any Wednesday
01/04/67 Kiss the Girls and Make Them Die
01/18/67 The Venetian Affair
01/25/67 The Quiller Memorandum
02/08/67 Tobruk
03/01/67 The 25th Hour
03/15/67 One Million Years, BC
03/22/67 In Like Flint
04/26/67 Casino Royale
06/14/67 El Dorado
07/05/67 Up the Down Staircase
08/02/67 The Naked Runner
08/16/67 To Sir, With Love
10/25/67 The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre
11/01/67 Bonnie and Clyde
11/22/67 Cool Hand Luke
12/20/67 The Ambushers
01/17/68 Valley of the Dolls
02/21/68 Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner
04/10/68 Planet of the Apes
05/29/68 The Carpetbaggers/Nevada Smith
06/12/68 Villa Rides
06/26/68 The Detective
07/10/68 Bandolero
07/24/68 Where Were You When the Lights Went Out?
08/07/68 Five Card Stud
08/28/68 The Secret Life of an American Wife
09/11/68 The Big Gundown
09/25/68 Deadfall
10/02/68 Duffy
10/16/68 If He Hollers, Let Him Go
11/06/68 The Boston Strangler
11/27/68 The Lady in Cement
12/11/68 Coogan’s Bluff
12/18/68 Candy
01/29/69 Up Tight
02/12/69 Secret Ceremony
03/05/69 The Night of the Following Day
03/12/69 Planet of the Apes/Valley of the Dolls
03/26/69 100 Rifles
04/23/69 The Odd Couple/Rosemary’s Baby
04/30/69 House of Cards
05/07/69 Midas Run
05/14/69 The Dirty Dozen/Grand Prix
05/21/69 Goldfinger/Dr. No
05/28/69 Once Upon a Time in the West
06/11/69 Heaven With a Gun/The Cincinnati Kid
06/18/69 Shalako/If He Hollers, Let Him Go
06/25/69 Mackenna’s Gold
07/09/69 The Wild Bunch
08/13/69 Castle Keep
09/03/69 Succubus
09/17/69 A Stranger in Town/The Stranger Returns
09/24/69 The Italian Job
10/01/69 Bonnie and Clyde/Bullitt
10/08/69 The Boston Strangler/The Lady in Cement
10/15/69 The Good Guys and the Bad Guys
10/29/69 All the Loving Couples
11/19/69 The Undefeated
12/24/69 The Arrangement
01/21/70 Without a Stitch
02/25/70 The Last of the Mobile Hotshots
03/04/70 The Honeymoon Killers
03/11/70 Cain’s Way
03/18/70 The Wild Bunch
03/25/70 The Adventurers
05/06/70 The Liberation of L. B. Jones
05/27/70 The Grasshopper
06/10/70 How to Succeed With Sex
06/17/70 Kelly’s Heroes
07/08/70 Beyond the Valley of the Dolls
08/05/70 Chisum
08/26/70 Watermelon Man
09/16/70 El Condor
09/23/70 The Man from C. O. T. T. O. N. (Purlie Victorious)
10/07/70 King: A Filmed Journey (Montgomery to Memphis)
10/14/70 The Lady of Monza
10/21/70 Threesome
11/18/70 WUSA
12/02/70 Flap
12/23/70 There Was a Crooked Man…
01/13/71 Horror of Frankenstein/Scars of Dracula
01/27/71 Her and She and Him
02/10/71 Doctors' Wives
03/03/71 Sexual Practics in Sweden
03/24/71 The House That Dripped Blood
04/07/71 Brother John
04/28/71 Patton
05/12/71 Sweet Sweetback’s Badasssssss Song
06/23/71 Klute
07/21/71 The Seven Minutes
08/04/71 Billy Jack
08/18/71 Soul to Soul
10/06/71 Ginger
11/17/71 Private Duty Nurses
12/01/71 Woman in Cages
12/22/71 Dirty Harry

The Palace was one of Washington’s premier downtown movie palaces from the time it was built, and it was the theater where many important films had their first Washington showing. That all changed after April 4, 1968 and the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. Along with the Warner, Keith’s, Trans-Lux, and the rest of the older downtown houses, the Palace found that audiences were preferring to do their moviegoing at the newer theaters being built in suburban malls, and Washington theaters increasingly lost their exclusive first-run status in favor of showcasing new films in a number of theaters spread throughout the area. So the Place and other theaters downtown began to feature more double bills of second-run films, soft-core pornography films, and beginning in 1971, black-oriented films.

Ron3853
Ron3853 on September 11, 2004 at 12:54 am

Part of the history of a great motion picture theater is the films that played there. Listed below are the films which played at Loew’s Palace in Washington, DC from November 1957 to December 1963. Research is from microfilms of The Washington Post and Variety. The dates listed are the Wednesday of the week in which the film opened, as in those days, most new films opened on Wednesdays instead of Fridays, as they do now. Films from January 1964 to the theater’s closing in 1978 will be listed in later posts due to space considerations.

11/20/57 Baby Face Nelson
11/27/57 Kiss Them for Me
12/04/57 Man in the Shadow
12/18/57 Peyton Place
02/19/58 A Farewell to Arms
03/12/58 The Brothers Karamazov
04/16/58 The Young Lions
05/14/58 Fraulein
05/21/58 Ten North Frederick
06/04/58 The Law and Jake Wade
06/18/58 Proud Rebel
07/02/58 Kings Go Forth
08/06/58 A Certain Smile
08/20/58 The Big Country
10/01/58 Harry Black and the Tiger
10/08/58 The Barbarian and the Geisha
10/22/58 Dunkirk
10/29/58 In Love and War
11/12/58 The Decks Ran Red
11/19/58 Mardi Gras
12/10/58 A Nice Little Bank That Should Be Robbed
12/17/58 The Restless Years
12/24/58 The Roots of Heaven
12/31/58 The Inn of the Sixth Happiness
02/18/59 Rally Round the Flag, Boys
03/11/59 The Remarkable Mr. Pennypacker
03/25/59 The Mating Game
04/15/59 Green Mansions
04/29/59 Al Capone
05/20/59 Watusi
05/27/59 A Woman Obsessed
06/03/59 The World, the Flesh, and the Devil
06/17/59 A Hole in the Head
07/15/59 This Earth is Mine
08/05/59 North by Northwest
10/14/59 For the First Time
10/21/59 Career
11/11/59 Hound Dog Man
11/18/59 The Wreck of the Mary Deare
12/09/59 House of the Seven Hawks
12/23/59 Solomon and Sheba
02/10/60 Sink the Bismarck
03/02/60 Three Murderesses
03/16/60 Home from the Hill
04/13/60 Kidnapped
04/20/60 The Fugitive Kind
05/25/60 Wild River
06/08/60 Flame Over India
06/15/60 The Story of Ruth
06/29/60 Pay or Die
07/06/60 The Mountain Road
07/13/60 Pollyanna
07/27/60 From the Terrace
08/31/60 All the Fine Young Cannibals
09/14/60 The Time Machine
09/28/60 I Aim at the Stars
10/05/60 The Angel Wore Red
10/12/60 Desire in the Dust
10/19/60 One Foot in Hell
11/02/60 A Breath of Scandal
11/09/60 Butterfield 8
01/04/61 Flaming Star
01/11/61 The Marriage-Go-Round
01/25/61 Go Naked in the World
02/15/61 The Sword and the Dragon
02/22/61 The Alamo
03/22/61 All Hands on Deck
04/05/61 All in a Night’s Work
04/19/61 The Apartment/Elmer Gantry
05/03/61 Cimarron
05/17/61 Return to Peyton Place
06/14/61 The Ladies Man
06/28/61 Morgan the Pirate
07/05/61 The Parent Trap
08/02/61 Exodus
08/23/61 Thief of Bagdad
08/30/61 The Pit and the Pendulum
09/13/61 Marines, Let’s Go!
09/20/61 The Big Gamble
09/27/61 The Invasion Quartet
10/04/61 The Hustler
10/25/61 Back Street
11/22/61 The Comancheros
12/06/61 I Bombed Pearl Harbor
12/13/61 Aladdin
12/27/61 The Second Time Around
01/10/62 Bachelor Flat
01/24/62 Knights of the Round Table/Ivanhoe
01/31/62 Tender is the Night
02/14/62 Pinocchio
03/07/62 Satan Never Sleeps
03/21/62 Oklahoma
04/04/62 Premature Burial
04/18/62 State Fair
05/16/62 The Horizontal Lieutenant
05/23/62 King Solomon’s Mines/The Naked Spur
05/30/62 Lisa
06/06/62 Hell is for Heroes
06/13/62 The Vikings/Trapeze
06/20/62 13 West Street
06/27/62 Boy’s Night Out
08/01/62 Hemingway’s Adventures of a Young Man
08/15/62 My Geisha
08/22/62 Five Weeks in a Balloon
08/29/62 Two Weeks in Another Town
09/19/62 I Thank a Fool
10/10/62 Damon and Pythias
10/17/62 A Very Private Affair
10/24/62 Roman Holiday/Sabrina
10/31/62 Billy Budd
11/21/62 If a Man Answers
12/05/62 The Legend of Lobo
12/12/62 The Trojan Horse/The Mongols
12/19/62 Ride Vaquero/Escape from Fort Bravo
12/26/62 Billy Rose’s Jumbo
01/16/63 The Password is Courage
01/23/63 40 Pounds of Trouble
02/13/63 Joseph and His Brethren
02/20/63 A Girl Named Tamiko
03/06/63 The Robe
03/13/63 The Courtship of Eddie’s Father
04/03/63 Constantine and the Cross
04/10/63 The Miracle of the White Stallions
05/01/63 Come Fly With Me
05/15/63 The Yellow Canary
05/22/63 We Shall Return
05/29/63 The List of Adrian Messenger
06/19/63 The Stripper
06/26/63 The Main Attraction
07/03/63 Savage Sam
07/17/63 Donovan’s Reef
07/31/63 Come Blow Your Horn
09/11/63 The Haunting
09/25/63 The VIPs
11/20/63 The Wheeler Dealers
12/25/63 Move Over, Darling