Palace Theatre

791 Broadway,
Gary, IN 46402

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Palace Theatre

John Eberson designed the Palace Theatre in a Atmospheric style, seating originally nearly 3,000. The theater opened in November 1925 with live stage shows and vaudeville acts in addition to motion pictures.

Operating for decades as one of Gary’s grandest entertainment venues, the cavernous Palace Theatre slowly slid into decline, closing in 1972.

Since then, several attempts have been made to bring the theater back to life, but unfortunately, none have been successful. Meanwhile, this sadly forgotten Eberson designed treasure has fallen into major disrepair, with substantial water damage to its auditorium and its Renaissance-style exterior crumbling away. A precarious-looking 1950’s or 1960’s era marquee appears in danger of falling off at any time.

Though in danger of being lost, the Palace Theatre would make an ideal performing arts or classic films venue, for anyone with enough interest, and more importantly, money, to put into restoring it.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 94 comments)

DonaldKirk
DonaldKirk on February 1, 2017 at 9:28 am

I will be very realistic about my proposal. Unless the people of Gary get involved with it, or supporting it, the likely of it happening are far less. I have studied Gary in-depth and realize that the city officials do not know what they are doing. You bring jobs back along with the rebuilding; and do not just keep spending money demolishing. Tourism is the right way for Gary to go. Yes, Trump failed in Gary; BUT, he spent $100 Million doing it. Some are upset that he did not keep spending; when the economy was “on a downturn”. It’s now time to bring the tourists “TO GARY”; and to gladly leave their money when they leave. Rebuilding the Palace, Municipal Auditorium and Kilroy Stadium will take time; but, the field of Kilroy could become a concert & event center,while the rebuild takes place. Remember the Jackson’s did one of their “first” performances there; and that is the key to making my company’s proposal work. I and my people are trained in the Walt Disney Imagineering business methods; and it works for Disney; and will work in Gary. With your help, the Palace, Auditorium and Stadium will again be open for your enjoyment; and they will create good paying jobs for Gary residents.

TattooTonyAlton
TattooTonyAlton on June 17, 2017 at 9:40 pm

Part 1. Exploring The Palace Theater, Gary Indiana

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 17, 2017 at 11:41 pm

Along with several depressing photos of the Palace in decay, this web page has a color photo of a corridor (probably in the mezzanine) when the splendid Spanish Baroque decor was still intact. But parts of the building must be in danger of imminent collapse.

Looking at the building from 8th Street in Google street view, the advanced decay of the brick wall of the auditorium is all too visible. There are even some shrubs and what appear to be at least two small trees growing from the tops of the walls. That is the very last stage of decay before a wall just crumbles. The time when the Palace can still be saved is very short, if it has not in fact already run out. I don’t know how long ago Google’s street views were taken.

Trolleyguy
Trolleyguy on June 18, 2017 at 9:49 am

The Google Street View image was taken in August 2013.

atmos
atmos on August 31, 2017 at 3:54 am

The top photo in the article submitted by Joe Vogel is actually the Palace Theatre Louisville.

whtesoxfan56
whtesoxfan56 on September 29, 2017 at 10:12 pm

To DonaldKirk, I wish badly that could occur. Had explored this former theater several times in the past on my own, and sadly to say I’m not sure if it’ll ever get the restoration it deserves.

Speaking of John Eberson theaters, I’m glad the New Regal Theater(nee Avalon) on the southeast side of Chicago could potentially be reopened. I explored that a few years ago during Open House Chicago(architectural open house every October in Chicago), and the building was still in decent shape inside.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on March 17, 2018 at 8:19 pm

I believe this link has video of the Palace. I’ve reached my limit of free Tribune articles for the month… If it is the wrong Palace Theatre, let me know in a comment and I’ll delete it and add it where it belongs.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/post-tribune/opinion/ct-ptb-davich-joel-henderson-lost-to-time-st-0318-20180315-story.html

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 17, 2018 at 9:26 pm

The video wouldn’t run for me, but it might be just a video of a high school in Gary anyway. The makers of the video have a YouTube channel, but I’ve been unable to find any among their hundreds of videos that is about the Palace. It would probably be part of their LOSTtoTIME series, and their Playlists page says there are currently 83 videos in that series. I haven’t scrolled through them to see if the theater is there, though I did see their video for the Town Theatre in Highland, Indiana, which I’ve linked on that theater’s page.

YouTube does have a few videos of the Palace by other users, though. Just Google Palace Theatre Gary IN.

RickB
RickB on March 18, 2018 at 3:50 am

The video is mostly a talking-head interview. It has a few seconds of the Palace toward the end (the whole thing is less than two minutes).

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on March 18, 2018 at 5:59 am

OK, I’ll just leave it here. I did remove my duplicate post though.

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