Palace Theatre

2 East Avenue,
Lockport, NY 14094

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Palace Theatre

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Since I’m a firm believer in giving credit at the top of the marquee, special thanks to Ellen Schratz (board member) and Bob (house manager) for a memory jog of details and supplying supplemental information.

Built in 1925, by Charles Dickinson from plans by a local architect, the Palace Theatre was opened on July 18, 1925 with 1,750 seats. The theatre was redesigned in 1936, and several people confirm the architect behind the make-over or interior renovations was John Eberson. The theatre is not in an Atmospheric style, so this was a departure from his usual style. The Neo-Classical style brick exterior combined with its blend of different interior disciplines culminate to provide an impressive, stately theatre.

Shortly after its opening the theatre was leased to the Schine corporation who later purchased the theatre in 1936. After many sucessful years, the Palace Theatre closed its doors in 1969, and stood empty for almost three years. Bought in 1972, by a developer who originally planned to knock down the theatre building, the Palace Theatre survived and re-opened. One explanation was that high demolition costs and the ongoing trend of the departure of retail outlets and offices from downtown areas, caused the developer to re-think the proposed parking lot strategy.

The developer re-opened the Palace Theatre in 1972 under either direct or indirect management of the Dipson Theatres chain. In November 1988, I sat in this impressive theatre along with — yes, several hundred others watching the dreadful “Ernest Saves Christmas”.

The theatre did consistently well with family and Disney films into the mid-1990’s. “The Lion King” (the movie) was its best grossing film of all time. As outlying multiplexes increased and retail left downtown it became harder to draw patrons to the downtown area. In 1999, the Palace Theatre showed its last movie but was again saved from the wrecking ball by Curtain Up Productions who leased the theatre from 1999 through 2003.

In December 2003, the theatre was sold to a non profit group who now run the theatre. The whole complex including retail space, offices and the theatre was purchased for $250,000. Despite it needing a $50,000 roofing job, it proves bargains still exist. On April 27, 2013, the new digital projector was inaugurated with two free screenings of the digitally restored version of “The Sound of Music”.

Contributed by Richard Grows

Recent comments (view all 56 comments)

LouB
LouB on December 6, 2011 at 4:21 pm

http://www.lockportpalacetheatre.org/

If you go to the above webswite and then go to the gallery you will see some impressive photos of this theatre.

LouB
LouB on February 21, 2012 at 4:54 pm

http://lockportjournal.com/local/x1058959343/Thieves-strike-Palace-Theatre

The above article from the Lockport Journal deals with a theft at the theatre where the copper coils from the air conditioners were stolen. What a shame!

LouB
LouB on February 27, 2012 at 8:02 pm

http://www.buffalonews.com/city/communities/lockport/article740043.ece

An update on the theft at the theatre is found above.

LouB
LouB on March 4, 2012 at 1:30 pm

Vandals have not deterred activity at this theatre. Check out upcoming films and live performances at:

www.lockportpalacetheatre.org/

LouB
LouB on August 3, 2012 at 2:20 pm

link

This link deals with the theatre’s plan to convert to digital projection.

LouB
LouB on August 26, 2012 at 4:52 pm

newspaper article

The above newspaper article expands on the Palace’s plight to go digital.

LouB
LouB on September 25, 2012 at 4:01 pm

link

The above link shows the upgrade being made on the marquee.

LouB
LouB on October 5, 2012 at 1:03 pm

link

This link shows the newly renovated marquee.

LouB
LouB on April 8, 2013 at 10:27 am

Digital projector is being installed according to Facebook page.

hammerglenn
hammerglenn on December 15, 2013 at 8:36 pm

Saw the restored A STAR IS BORN here in the mid-eighties.

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