Palladium Theatre

261 Main Street,
Worcester, MA 01608

Unfavorite 1 person favorited this theater

Showing 20 comments

z11111 on March 7, 2016 at 8:47 am

More info:

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 Thanks guys


Thanks to Tim for the insider information.

z11111 on March 7, 2016 at 8:42 am

*venue, not video. whoops

z11111 on March 7, 2016 at 8:32 am

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.

nonsportsnut on December 4, 2015 at 6:08 pm

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

spectrum on September 4, 2014 at 2:55 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.

chameo on August 8, 2012 at 10:47 am

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

chameo on August 5, 2012 at 6:37 am

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 for more info.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on July 14, 2012 at 10:07 am

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.

sat123 on March 16, 2012 at 8:43 am

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.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 29, 2010 at 7:18 am

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.]

barrygoodkin on October 9, 2007 at 3:49 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.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on April 22, 2007 at 8:15 am

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.

mdmjcc2 on November 28, 2006 at 12:14 pm

I am trying to find infomation about the Plymouth Theatre/Cinema. I understand that there is a recent article that said that this theatre was the Plymouth for a time. Does anyone have any information confirming this or know any information about the Plymouth?

I am also trying to learn about the Philips Cinema – one L – what it was before, after, address, any information?

ododson3 on September 9, 2006 at 6:31 am

I go often to rock (hardcore) shows there. The “upstairs” room is small and wonderful but I wonder what it was originally? It’s just above lobby level and lies under the floor of the main theatre. Anyone know what it was originally?

barrygoodkin on October 25, 2005 at 1:28 pm

The Palladium Theatre opened on November 24, 1928. It was designed by Arland W. Johnson who also designed the Roger Sherman, New Haven, Commodore Hull, Derby, Ct. and the Garde in New London.
All four theatres were operated by Alfred Gottesman who sold out to Warner Bros. in 1929. Warner Bros. chose to renovate the Worcester Strand and reopen it as the Warner.
The Plymouth was taken over by E. M. Loew, an independent New England theatre operator.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on September 23, 2005 at 1:29 am

T.R., if you can find out when it orginally opened, then perhaps, using public library microfilm, you can find the Worcester Telegram article which, might have appeared at its opening. It could have some of that information. Contact someone in the music/entertainment department at the newspaper. They might be willing to help. The Worcester Historical Society could have something. I’ve done similar things with some success for Providence area theatres.

Caretaker on September 22, 2005 at 7:20 pm

If anyone knows of original blueprints, old photos, or just who built the place, please contact me!

Caretaker on September 22, 2005 at 7:09 pm

I am the janitor of the Palladium in Worcester, MA. The capacity on this site is incorrect. It holds 2160 patrons, not 2633. It is a wonderful place to work for a lover of older architecture. I will never tire of caring for my old theatre. The original chandelier from its movie palace days still lights the balcony. The bowling alley in the basement is long since defunct. Most of the old marble, (stairs, walls) is still intact. Though long unused, the screen is still perched high above the stage. My old theatre is still alive and kicking and I do love it dearly.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on April 17, 2005 at 5:35 am

Listed in editions of Film Daily Yearbook’s that I have;1941-1950, as the Plymouth Theatre, operated by E.M. Loew’s.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on April 17, 2005 at 5:10 am

Here is a photograph I took of the Palladium (E.M. Loew’s) not too long ago.