Palace Theatre

1564 Broadway,
New York, NY 10036

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Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on August 7, 2018 at 2:45 pm

There were no newspaper movie clocks then and the RKO listings did not have show times, so I can’t tell.

bigjoe59 on August 7, 2018 at 12:50 pm


to Al A. I see what you mean by it being sold as a
light comedy based on the critics quotes you quoted.

another question about 55 Days at Peking. you said based on the screening times given in the ad for its run at the Trans Lux 85 St. that theater probably didn’t use an intermission. now the other day I was listening to the 55 Days….. soundtrack album and it does have a track titled “Intermission”. so did the Palace run it with an intermission?

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on August 6, 2018 at 2:58 pm

bigjoe, they used quotes that described the film as “a joyous hit” and “rich in humor”. I am sure the locals knew exactly what that story was about.

bigjoe59 on August 6, 2018 at 1:08 pm


to Al A.. you have been most helpful with replies to my many questions but I simply can not believe TDOAF was sold in Miami as a light comedy. that would have been an insult to any Holocaust survivors living in the Miami area.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on August 3, 2018 at 4:51 pm

In Miami Beach it was sold as light comedy, so go figure!

bigjoe59 on August 3, 2018 at 2:53 pm


recently I watched TDOAF on blu-ray and its a quite well made touching film. i don’t know if its non- success every place except NYC and Miami is a sign of subliminal anti-semitism or people just didn’t want too see such a depressing film no matter how good is was.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on July 31, 2018 at 5:04 pm

Variety stated back then that THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK had bombed everywhere except New York and Miami Beach.

stevenj on July 31, 2018 at 4:50 pm

bigjoe59….I don’t have a subscription to Variety online to double check this in their archives but just unearthed my Preston Kauffman hardbound Fabulous Fox book which has every film listed that played there by year (including weekly grosses) from opening to closing of the theatre. The Diary of Anne Frank played there during the 30th and 31st weeks of 1959 – sometime in late July. It was released on March 18, 1959, (the premier was at the Palace?). So wondering if that indeed was a first run engagement. Or if so, it may have been moved over to another smaller theatre. It grossed $12,652 the first week and $10,198 the 2nd, about average for films that played this 4651 seat theatre during a time of declining movie attendance. The highest grossing film that year was The Shaggy Dog which had a $26,151 1st week gross (and played a 3 week run). Throughout the time the Fox was open (1929-1963) 1 and 2 week runs were the norm. The longest running films (at 9 weeks) were The Robe and The King and I.

bigjoe59 on July 31, 2018 at 3:29 pm


as always thanks to Al A. for your info. I can’t help but wonder why 55 Days…… went the continuous performance route whereas Kings of Kings, El Cid, The Fall of the Roman Empire and Circus World had traditional roadshow engagements.

you’ll find this interesting assuming of course I
understood my friend out in Calf. correctly. whereas
The Diary of Anne Frank had a roadshow engagement at
this theater that lasted 5? months its sole first
run engagement in San Francisco was a 2 week run at
the S.F. Fox.

NYer on July 30, 2018 at 4:18 pm

“55 Days at Peking” opening day ad in photo section.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on July 30, 2018 at 3:04 pm

The other three theatres were the RKO 23rd St., Trans-Lux 85th St., and the RKO Albee in Brooklyn. Judging by the show times at the Trans-Lux, I suspect there was no intermission.

bigjoe59 on July 30, 2018 at 2:19 pm


to Al A. thanks for the info on 55 Days at Peking. It seems odd that of the five big epics Bronston produced from 1961-64 its the only one not exhibited on a roadshow engagement. if you don’t mind 2 additional questions-did it even have a intermission and if you know what were the other three NYC theaters many thanks in advance.

Mikeoaklandpark on July 30, 2018 at 1:04 pm

The whole idea is a waste of time and money and a threat to one of Broadways finest theaters. That hotel is not even 30 years old. The theater was closed from 87-91 when they reopened with The Will Rogers Follies. What a waste. I can’t believe the Neederlanders agreed to this. They must not own the property. UGH

NYer on July 30, 2018 at 9:11 am

The current tenant “SpongeBob SquarePants: The Broadway Musical,” will close Sept. 16. Plans are still a go to demolish the Doubletree Hotel and build, get this, a brand new hotel (why?) and raise The Palace for retail space.

robboehm on July 30, 2018 at 7:29 am

What happened to the plan to raise the theater one story to provide retail space? They keep booking shows there.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on July 29, 2018 at 5:06 pm

bigjoe, it was not a roadshow. It actually opened at four locations in NYC.

bigjoe59 on July 29, 2018 at 4:12 pm


I usually have a good memory when it comes to films
having had roadshow engagements in Manhattan. to which
didn’t 55 Days at Peking have a roadshow engagement at
this theater?

DavidZornig on May 31, 2018 at 3:50 pm

A quick search shows you are correct. Baxter replaced Bacall July 26, 1971. Arlene Dahl later replace Baxter for one month before the show closed July 27, 1972.

vindanpar on May 31, 2018 at 3:20 pm

I should have said the recently posted circa ‘69 photo. This was the beginning of the steep decline of Times Square. Although for those who were already visiting it they might say it began earlier. Unfortunately the great wraparound DeMille billboard was to feature only one more movie and that was a softcore porn film which I believe was called Ginger. I’m basing this all on memory. No more Hawaii or Spartacus spectaculars. Not even a Shoes of the Fisherman or Battle of Britain.

vindanpar on May 31, 2018 at 2:40 pm

Circa ‘69 is in early 70s. You can see Anne Baxter is in Applause and I believe she replaced Bacall in '71. I saw Bacall do it in June of '71 and that same summer I saw Cliff Gorman in Lenny the billboard of which you can also see in that photo.

DavidZornig on April 19, 2018 at 2:43 pm

Circa 1983 photo added via John Michael Wilkinson‎.

bigjoe59 on February 1, 2018 at 12:54 pm


are the Nederlenders still going thru with their plan to raise the theater 2 stories?

DavidZornig on January 30, 2018 at 4:33 pm

1955 photo added via Al Ponte’s Time Machine-New York Facebook page.

NYer on October 27, 2017 at 3:26 am

I would agree Ed, but with the introduction of LED signs on marquees at The Amsterdam and The Music Box, it eliminates the need for expensive painted plastics for each engagement and they can advertise other shows at their theaters at the same time. I wonder if they will try do something if they can.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on October 26, 2017 at 1:47 pm

During that last renovation, they scrapped the original Seventh Ave facade entirely (marquee and office building above the entry foyer included) and incorporated it into the facade of the new high rise hotel that was constructed above and around the theater at the corner of W 47th. So, a recreation of the original marquee is probably not in the cards. It would actually look entirely incongruous with the rest of the facade, frankly.