261 Main Street,
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The Palladium (Official)
Previously operated by: E.M. Loew's Theaters Inc.
Architects: Arland W. Johnson
Functions: Concerts, Live Music Venue
Previous Names: E. M. Loew's Theatre, Plymouth Theatre
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.
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Recent comments (view all 20 comments)
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.]
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.
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.
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.
Oh, thanks, Tinseltoes. What a great retrospective viewpoint.
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.
The Three Stooges Fan Club is trying to verify a personal appearance of the Three Stooges (Larry, Moe & Curly) at the Plymouth, possibly on August 9, 1942, or any other appearance dates. My direct email is: . Thanks, Frank Reighter
I was recently in the Palladium (August 2015) because the band I tour with had a show in the “Upstairs” room, in which I had hours (and little lighting) to explore the entirety of the theater.
Although it is a functioning music video, it truly feels like you are stepping inside the shell of a long-abandoned building. I would guess that maybe 30% of the original interior architecture of the theater is still intact. Maybe. Most of the auditorium was gutted of all of its beauty at some point in time. Most resemblance to a movie palace is long gone. The only things remaining are the chandelier, a majority of the proscenium arch, very little of the original art deco ceiling. Outside of the auditorium, there are hardly any remnants so I’m not entirely sure how restoring this theater or getting landmark status is even possible just because it was so completely destroyed in previous years. Such a shame.
Here are some of the low resolution iPhone photos I was able to take along with a more detailed description (in the album) of what remains and what does not. https://flic.kr/s/aHskv7eCCu
*venue, not video. whoops
AnonymousSeptember 6, 2014 at 1:08 AM Hey it’s me the janitor Tim again. In answer to the upstairs room question (5). The upstairs room was originally not so much a separate room but more of an ornate extention of the lobby with wonderful high ceilings with awesome art deco plaster work.The bathrooms up there were there but not that bar. There was a fountain behind where the bar is. That was altered to the basic current form in I believe the early 1990s when the nightclub thing started.If anyone wants to help me fix it up we have a restoration fund link on our page www.thepalladium.net Thanks guys
Thanks to Tim for the insider information.