Palladium Theatre

261 Main Street,
Worcester, MA 01608

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Palladium Theatre

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The Palladium Theatre was one of downtown Worcester’s several movie palaces when it was part of E.M. Loew’s Theatres.

Today it is a popular venue for concerts featuring rock groups.

Contributed by Gerald A. DeLuca

Recent comments (view all 18 comments)

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on April 22, 2007 at 4:15 pm

There is a MGM Theatre Photograph and Report form for the Plymouth Theatre in Worcester with an exterior photo dated May 1941. The theatre then had a rectangular marquee with white letters on a black background. Attractions were “This Thing Called Love” and “Dangerous Game”. There appears to be a ticket booth in the center under the marquee. The street in front consists of cobblestones and also trolley tracks. The Report says the Plymouth is on Main St.,that it has been playing MGM product for over 10 years; is over 15 years old (in 1941) and in Fair condition. Seating is listed as 1400 on the main floor and 1200 in the balcony, total: 2600. (these figures were probably rounded up.) Competing theatres are listed as the Olympia (Art), and the Elm Street. Worcester’s population in 1941 was 193,000.

barrygoodkin
barrygoodkin on October 9, 2007 at 11:49 pm

The Palladium Theatre opened as the Plymouth Theatre on November 24, 1928. It became the E. M. Loew Center for the Performing Arts on April 14, 1980 and the Palladium after that.
According to the Encyclopedia of the American Theatre Organ it did have a 2/8 Robert Morton organ. The newspaper article on the opening identified “Buddy” Webber at the console of Our Mighty Organ but did not identify the organ manufacturer.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 29, 2010 at 3:18 pm

Item in Boxoffice magazine, March 19, 1949:

Nate Goldberg, manager of the Plymouth, discovered a Worcester GI played an extra in a scene for “Paisan” and capitalized on it, the story hitting page one of the dailies when the picture played the Plymouth.

[Rossellini’s neorealist “Paisan” hardly seems like typical fare for the Plymouth, but the movie played numerous mainstream theatres of the time.]

sat123
sat123 on March 16, 2012 at 3:43 pm

I moved to the Worcester area in 1973 and suspect the theatre had been recently closed – but in the winter of 1974/1975 it temporarily reopened for an exclusive engagement of “Earthquake” in Sensurround. I don’t know how/why this theatre got that lucrative gig but the theatre once-again went dark until 1980 when it reopened as the E.M. Loew Center for the Performing Arts.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on July 14, 2012 at 6:07 pm

The owners of the Palladium building have gotten very ticked-off over recent property tax increases. They say their tax has now tripled. They want to demolish the building. This news appeared in the business page of the Quincy Patriot-Ledger, and also in the THS Readerboard theater news line.

chameo
chameo on August 5, 2012 at 2:37 pm

The Palladium building is listed on MACRIS, the Massachusetts Cultural Resource Information Center, so there’s a 12-month waiting period before any demolition or significant changes to the building can happen. The owners requested a waiver of the delay at a July 26th meeting of the Worcester Historical Commission. The HC denied the waiver, which gives the owner and interested parties 12 months to come up with an alternative plan.

There’s an active group of folks trying to pull together a coalition of interested parties to come up with a plan to renovate and preserve the building. Preservation Worcester, the City of Worcester, people from the Hanover Theater (another local cinema treasure that was recently renovated and reopened) and a national radio personality have all expressed interest in helping keep the building standing, possibly as a mixed-use entertainment venue, office space, business incubator and cultural resource center. rsalters and anyone else, any info/resources you have about the building’s history would be a great help. There’s a Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/savethepalladium for more info.

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on August 8, 2012 at 6:21 pm

The Plymouth’s Robert Morton organ is pictured in 1929 at bottom of this page: archive

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on August 8, 2012 at 6:38 pm

Described in full in this two-page article: archive

chameo
chameo on August 8, 2012 at 6:47 pm

Oh, thanks, Tinseltoes. What a great retrospective viewpoint.

spectrum
spectrum on September 4, 2014 at 10:55 pm

According to their website (Sept. 2014) they are now in the middle of a fundraising effort for the “Palladium Restoration Project” which will fund the restoration of architectural details along with equipping the theatre with state of the art equipment. They are striving to raise $1,000,000 by the end of 2014; people may make donations through a Paypal link on their page (listed at the top of this page). Let’s hope they are successful – the architecture will be wonderful when fully restored. Good news is that it appears the tax issue isn’t a problem anymore – they seem very positive about the future and their events calendar is very busy.

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