RKO Palace Theater

71 Clinton Avenue,
Rochester, NY 14604

Unfavorite 3 people favorited this theater

Showing 1 - 25 of 30 comments

DavidZornig on October 7, 2013 at 1:42 am

FYI, there are never before seen photos of the RKO Rochester on a website called www.RochesterSubway.com Go to the “Select Month” feature, and click on “October 2012”. Then scroll down until you see the photos.

I’m unable to attach the link since CT changed their page format.

hdtv267 on February 11, 2013 at 1:11 am


doesnt look like.

jasen on February 10, 2013 at 8:37 pm

Does anyone remember when a temporary screen was transported into the Palace to screen a 3 projection movie called Cinerama. The Screen was huge and extended beyond both sides of the stage. The movie was a spectacular but was only shown for approximately a month. It was outstanding for its time and dwarfed Cinemascope movies of that era.

NittyRanks on August 29, 2012 at 5:12 am

Here is a local organist who has a lot of information on the theater and a Facebook page with great photographs:


NittyRanks on August 28, 2012 at 9:08 pm

Check this out everyone:


Tinseltoes on August 12, 2012 at 4:03 pm

Two photos of an early Rochester theatre called the Victoria on the left side of this page from a vintage trade journal:archive

Tinseltoes on July 16, 2012 at 6:29 pm

Vastness of the lobby pictured in this 1960 trade report: Boxoffice

Tinseltoes on February 1, 2010 at 3:52 pm

Here’s a new direct link to a slide show about the RKO Palace. It may take a few seconds to start loading:
View link

JohnMLauter on February 25, 2009 at 4:49 am

I played a concert on the RKO Palace Wurlitzer in the Auditorium theatre last December. It is one of the best wurlitzer theatre organs you will ever hear.

Ziggy on September 10, 2007 at 8:36 pm

Hi Warren, right now you may well be the one person at this website that knows the most about the RKO Temple in Rochester. It was torn down when I was very young and I don’t have any distinct memories of it at all. It may even have been torn down before I was born. I have memories of the block it sat on being cleared, but the theatre may have already been gone before then. If you were to start a posting on it you would be doing us a service! There was another theatre near the Temple called the “Victoria”, but I also have no memories of that.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on September 7, 2007 at 7:05 pm

The Temple Theatre was reported to have 2,200 seats when it first opened as a vaudeville house on December 6th, 1909. It was built and operated by James H. Moore, who also owned the Temple Theatre in Detroit, Michigan. Both the exterior and interior of Rochester’s Temple were described as “modified Colonial style.” A gorgeous mural on the sounding board above the proscenium arch was painted by Rafael Berk, a prominent Rochester artist at the time.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on August 27, 2007 at 7:02 pm

Thanks, Ken! Perhaps some citizen of Rochester will start a listing for the Temple. I know nothing of its history, or even if that 1914-15 address is still the same in 2007.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on August 27, 2007 at 6:41 pm

Warren; The Temple Theatre is listed in the American Motion Picture Directory 1914- 1915 edition. The address was 37 Clinton Avenue S., Rochester, NY

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on August 27, 2007 at 6:24 pm

This 1932 ad also mentions an RKO Temple Theatre for Rochester, but I can’t find a listing for that theatre at Cinema Treasures. According to the 1932 Film Daily Year Book, the Temple had 1,496 seats. I wonder whatever became of it?

Patsy on December 6, 2006 at 9:14 pm

ziggy: And the site you posted on July 20th was most interesting especially the collection of Palace photos. Such a shame that Rochester has lost this beautiful theatre in 1965 to urban renewal. The exterior was breathtaking and the interior lobby photo(with Christmas tree) was even more so.

Patsy on December 6, 2006 at 9:06 pm

kohoutek: Watching the demolition video that you posted on Feb. 9th of this theatre was very heartbreaking and so sad for the citizens of Rochester! The wrecking ball had taken down the brick wall and the parking lot behind was visible from the once opulent auditorium. Does anyone have memories of this grand old lady?

Patsy on December 6, 2006 at 8:57 pm

ziggy: Glad to read that the Rochester Theatre Organ Society is taking care of the Palace Theatre’s Wurlitzer. I have friends who are members of MTOS (Metrolina Theatre Organ Society) in Charlotte NC so they will appreciate this bit of organ news.

Ziggy on December 6, 2006 at 8:25 pm

Hi Patsy, I realize it’s 4 months after you asked, but the Palace Theatre’s Wurlitzer is now installed in the Auditorium Theatre on the other side of downtown, and is very well cared for by the Rochester Theatre Organ Society.

Patsy on August 3, 2006 at 1:01 am

And what happened to the RKO Palace Wurlitzer organ? The Wurlitzer organ in the Tennessee was removed, restored and re-installed which is the way it should be!

Patsy on August 3, 2006 at 12:35 am

What in the world was going on with the City of Rochester when this RKO Palace was brought down? I’m sure the preservationists weren’t as active or even a well organized group back then as they are now!

Patsy on August 3, 2006 at 12:23 am

And the RTOS site is fascinating to view as the b/w slide show is complete, but very sad to watch as the RKO was a beautifully ornate downtown theatre that is gone forever.

Patsy on August 3, 2006 at 12:14 am

I just found this link after researching the architect names of Graven and Mayger. I am truly saddened and appalled at what the City of Rochester did in regards to their RKO Palace in 1965 and now the site is a PARKING LOT! The City of Rochester should hang their heads in shame!

N8TR on February 10, 2006 at 1:41 am

You can see fascinating shots of this grand old gal being demolished at at the following websites;



mrchangeover on November 2, 2005 at 11:14 pm

I remember visiting the RKO Palace in late 1962 during a visit to Rochester. The balcony was closed off and the theatre seemed a bit run down. I wished I had been there during its better days.
It would have made great showplace for Rochester but back then I don’t think many people gave much thought to saving old theatres. The demolition of many grand old theatres across North America was just beginning.