Music Palace

91-93 Bowery,
New York, NY 10002

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Music Palace

Viewing: Photo | Street View

One of Chinatown’s many theatres.

Contributed by RobertR

Recent comments (view all 20 comments)

gwailo
gwailo on September 26, 2006 at 3:54 am

The balcony of the Music Palace was pretty rough. A lot of the Chinese gang kids would hang out there, drinking beer and smoking. There were fights pretty regularly, and one guy got shot while I was there.

They mainly played kung fu movies, although they’d sometimes show Honk Kong comedies and romances, and an occasional ‘Category 3’ (porno) flick. All the movies were (poorly) subtitled in English, as well as in Chinese for speakers of dialects other than Cantonese.
The small concession stand sold packets of dried shrimp and shit like that.

br91975
br91975 on November 16, 2006 at 8:18 am

After several years of lying in wait, the Music Palace has been demolished, presumably to be replaced by the retail/residential development which first came into discussion in the late ‘90s.

NYCer
NYCer on November 4, 2007 at 3:27 pm

I hear that the structure going up on the site will be a hotel.

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on April 25, 2008 at 8:21 pm

Does anyone have date when it operated as the WORLD?

mhantholz
mhantholz on May 20, 2010 at 10:33 pm

The Music Palace was THE REAL DEAL NYC mid-1960s-70s for first-run kung-fu films—-beautiful color/scope prints, subtitled [English bottom/Chinese right side] in the classiest movie theater in lower Manhattan. We saw “Come Drink with Me” and “Jade Raksha” here—-could never get enough of Chen Pei-Pei, who’s still in there swinging, bless her heart. Angela Mao-Ying was another fave. The Music Palace specialized in Golden Harvest releases, some Shaw Bros. The Sun Sing and Canal Street played films of lesser producers, and were definitely scuzzier. The Governor on Chatham Square [demolished, now Hong Kong Supermarket, where I shop]played Cantonese films exclusively—-the majority of NYC were Cantonese, until the Asian Exclusion Act of 1924 was repealed 1964. Isn’t it strange how the food/films of our youth retain a special place within us—-I’ve eaten many kinds of Chinese food, by I always reset to my default: Cantonese. The kung-fu films of today, with their CGI-enhancements, just don’t have the mega-ton blast effect of Chen Pei-Pei laying waste to regiments of bad guys, tornado-like, with two broad swords. Golden days, gone forever.

cinemajosie
cinemajosie on January 19, 2011 at 10:54 pm

I went to that theatre every Saturday as a child in the late 1940s living on the corner of Mott and Hester. The marquee said “Universal” but it was always referred to as “The Dumps” and I thought that was its other real name. It was very seedy. Very crowded with children during Saturday matinees. Two ushers with flashlights were kept very busy keeping kids in their seats and reasonably under control. The bathrooms were filthy and scary and we avoided them. We’d see previews of coming attractions, cartoons, a movie, and one installment of a serial that ran for months. When the movie was interrupted by a technical problem with the projector or film, which happened frequently, we kids would stamp our feet in unison, chanting, “We want movies! We want movies!” In the lobby, on the way out, we could pick up a leaflet, densely printed blue-on-white, describing the coming attractions. Occasionally we’d lie about what was playing (“Gene Autry”)to go see an adult movie (Betty Grable, Put The Blame on Mame, Boys) or Shadow On The Wall. “The Dumps” was a big part of my childhood!

cinemajosie
cinemajosie on January 19, 2011 at 10:56 pm

I also remember seeing “Flying Tigers” and “God Is My Co-Pilot” in that theatre.

TransfigurationTommy
TransfigurationTommy on January 20, 2011 at 1:09 pm

I used to go there as a little kid…the Dumps…remember seeing Sheherezhade there! and the colored candied? popcorn, the ushers and the stamping whenever the projector faltered, yes. Many years later, I would ride the bus (Ave B?) past another Chinese theater at the start of East Broadway, I suppose that’s the one mentioned as at the Square? Colorful posters on the outside, I always meant to stop in sometime to see what I might see, but alas, never did. Sorry to hear they’re all gone now.

zcharles
zcharles on July 12, 2012 at 1:31 am

what was the EXACT date of closing with link if possible.

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