19 Clinton Avenue,
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The RKO Palace Theatre was opened in October 23, 1931 with Ann Harding in “Devotion” on the screen and RKO vaudeville on stage. It had 3,764 seats and was equipped with a Wurlitzer 4 manual, 20 ranks organ. It was built by Fabian Securities Ltd. and leased to RKO. Designed by noted theatre architect John Eberson in a Baroque/semi-Atmospheric style. Seating is now provided for 1,541 in the orchestra and 1,303 in the balcony. The proscenium is 63 feet wide and the stage 33 feet deep. In 1960, it was renovated and a new facade and marquee were installed over the entrance. The Palace Theatre was closed as a movie theatre in September 1969.
It was purchased from Fabian by the city, for use as a civic auditorium. In 1979, it was placed on the Register of Historic Places. Many stars such as The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springstein, Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison, Melisa Etheridge and Jerry Seinfeld have performed on the Palace Theatre stage. The Palace Theatre is also home to the Albany Symphony Orchestra.
Extensive renovations were carried out in 2002, and a replica of the original 1931 marquee was installed in 2004. Now part of Albany’s resurging theatre district, the Palace Theatre is home to concerts and live shows. Once a vibrant movie palace, it has risen again as a prime venue for concerts in the state capital.
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