Palace Theater

112 Broadway,
Lawrence, MA 01840

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rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on November 10, 2010 at 8:07 pm

The Palace is listed in the 1927 Film Daily Yearbook as having 1,980 seats, open daily.

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on March 17, 2010 at 10:19 pm

Nice photo J.V.Roy.

jimroy
jimroy on March 17, 2010 at 7:32 pm

I’ve got more than a few pictures now courtesy of the Lawrence Public Library and the Immigrant City Archives of Theater Row in addition to some pix of the current location put up here now.
[url]http://www.pbase.com/jroy/theaterrow[/url]

I’m still working on some of the other individual ones in the city.

jimroy
jimroy on February 19, 2010 at 6:32 pm

I should also add that Fred Demara’s (The Great imposter) dad was a Union projectionist in the the palace and other Lawrence theaters. I never knew him or his dad but was told by the guys that trained me that he/they lived on State St. in Lawrence. Wikipedia said that his uncle Napoleon Louis Demara owned theaters there.

jimroy
jimroy on February 18, 2010 at 9:20 pm

I remember going to the Palace as a kid. We used to stand in line outside in front waiting to get in and I remember seeing the stills to James Bond’s Dr No and Goldfinger in the poster displays. Louis Pearls was where we all bought our popcorn and if I remember correctly remained there for sometime long after the the thearerst were shut up. I saw a lot of the Disney films there like “Flubber” and “Son of Flubber” and remember having to go in to pull my sister out of “A Hard Days Night.” I remember also going there for some event where Major Mudd (a local television celebrity) made a special appearance. The last thing I saw there was a double feature of “It!” starring Roddy McDowell and “The Frozen Dead” in 1967.

Rtprovencher
Rtprovencher on December 15, 2009 at 11:58 pm

I’ve been a theater buff since I was a kid. As a native of Lowell, Mass., I prevailed upon any family member I could to take me to theaters in cities outside of Lowell. Lawrence, a smaller city than Lowell, was closest, and, so I did visit the Palace and the Warner when they were still running. The Palace was a theater one would expect to find in Boston…it was unusually fine for a city the size of Lawrence. It was bigger, more complicated, and more elaborate than anything we had in Lowell, or anthing else around. I rember it had a spacious lobby and a beautiful auditorium. Lawrence, like its sister city Lowell, failed to hang onto any vestige of its historic theaters. What a shame!

lpalermo
lpalermo on September 30, 2008 at 2:04 am

Ron:

Thanks for your help. I did send an e-mail to Historictheatres. I guess I’ll just wait and see what they can do for me. Thanks again.

L Palermo

Patsy
Patsy on September 29, 2008 at 6:45 pm

I agree…..it’s fairly easy to find exterior photos, but interior/floor plans are much more difficult…don’t know why that is!?!

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on September 29, 2008 at 6:33 pm

palermo- you can try the Theatre Historical Society; they have a huge archive in IL. Their website is historictheatres.org; their e-mail address is there. It’s fairly easy to find exterior photos, but interior photos and floor plans are much more difficult. They charge a fee for copies of their stuff.

Patsy
Patsy on September 28, 2008 at 10:07 pm

palermo: I can’t be of help, but I’m sure someone on CT will be able to contribute these items.

lpalermo
lpalermo on September 28, 2008 at 7:03 pm

Does anyone know where I can obtain a photo for the interior of the Palace Theater that was located in Lawrence Ma and a copy of the floor plan. Thanks Louie

jimgriff
jimgriff on May 12, 2008 at 5:29 am

hi cgk,

Yes, my bad. It was the State (my memory is almost flawless… almost).

Griff

MasterPeaceProductions
MasterPeaceProductions on May 7, 2008 at 10:40 pm

As a fourth-generation Lawrencian and filmmaker, I am moved and inspired by your comments and recollections about Theater Row. My grandmother told me many stories about spending a Saturday afternoon in these theaters, paying a quarter and watching the show over and over again all day. Certainly her love of films, and my grandfather’s projector duties at Sacred Heart Church, fueled my filmmaking passion. Now they’re gone, along with the theaters and I miss all of them, for sure.

It is my hope to honor them with the film I’m now in pre-production on, entitled “Millies” – the story of a troubled group of mill girls who return from 1912 to the present day to guide a bankrupt mill-owner as they discover her future affects their past. We have a tentative shoot date to film in Lawrence in Spring 2009, and certainly the recollections and comments from people like you are wonderful to have.

The film touches on the 1912 textile strike, and parallels between the ethnic clashes of yesteryear and the clashes of today, while showcasing what I think are still unbelievable aesthetics here in the immigrant city. Hopefully we capture these images for posterity in the way these postcards did back then. Meanwhile, to read more on the Millies production, visit http://www.MilliesMovie.com and please drop me a line! In any case, I am very excited to see the pictures and links you’ve posted here to Lawrence’s film history, and I look forward to future posts.

Cheers,
Lorre Fritchy
Writer/Director
“Millies”

321cgk
321cgk on February 29, 2008 at 12:24 am

Was the State movie theater across from the Palce and Broadway?

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on December 17, 2007 at 6:34 pm

to Jim Griffith: in the MGM Theater Report for the Strand in Lawrence, which has an exterior photo taken in 1941, there is a sign reading “Louis Pearl” above the ground floor of the building next to the Strand, on its left. That building appears to be about 5 stories high. Because the photo is a “xerox of a xerox”, all detail is lost and it’s just a black blob. The ground floor of that building is partially obscured by a parked car and by the rear of a passing bus. The actual entrance of the Louis Pearl store cannot be seen and may be around the corner to the left, as per your memory.

jimgriff
jimgriff on December 16, 2007 at 9:54 pm

I was a child in Lawrence in the early sixties. At the time, the Palace and Broadway were the only theaters still in operation. The Strand and the Modern were closed and boarded up as was the rarely-mentioned Capitol across the street. I remember waiting outside of the Palace with my friends (I lived in the Hancock St. projects at the time) and we were always amazed to see the light reflections on the ceiling of the theater portico from the rain water that had collected in the Capitol’s marquee. We always wondered if the whole thing would collapse some day.

The sad story of Lawrence’s theater row, like the story of Lawrence, was a result of bad timing combined with economics. Lawrence had been a severely depressed town ever since the textile companies closed up shop after WWII and moved en masse to the cheaper, warmer southern US. The decline worsened during the 50’s and by the 60’s, desperate to attract new business, Lawrence began to demolish, willy nilly, it’s older buildings to make room for “the future.” I remember when the hundreds of blocks to the north of Essex st. and east of Lawrence st were all razed. There was big sign posted on Lawrence st declaring “Urban Renewal.” What a cruel and ironic joke!)

This was all before American’s developed a passion for preserving historic urban architecture (it started in NYC with Jackie Kennedy’s fight to save Grand Central Station in the late sixties.) Sadly, we lost so much history before then, including much of Lawrence.

Jack: I saw Mary Poppins in its first run at the Warner.

What I really wish I had a photo of was the old Louis Pearl’s candy and joke shop which was around the corner from the Strand (I think). We would always stop of at Louis Pearl’s for candy and cheap joke stuff.

Roloff
Roloff on July 18, 2007 at 9:33 pm

I’ve also found another postcard (virtually, not physically unfortunately), a daytime ‘photo’ of the row taken from the other side here: View link

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on July 18, 2007 at 6:41 pm

It should be pointed out that in Roloff’s beautiful colored postcard which he posted on July 16 that there was a gap between the 3rd and 4th theatres in the row because there was a narrow side street there.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on July 17, 2007 at 9:57 pm

Boston’s Theatre Row:

Modern – vacant, empty, city-owned, awaiting redevelopment
RKO Keith Memorial – now Opera House, a live stage
Bijou – mostly demolished but front building still stands
Normandie (originally BF Keith’s) – demolished
Paramount – now being redeveloped into a live stage by Emerson College

Emerson’s project will also encompass the property formerly occupied by the Bijou and Normandie.

Patsy
Patsy on July 17, 2007 at 9:10 pm

Thanks for the info. So none of the theatres in theatre row in Boston still exist? When I was there in the mid 60’s I wasn’t into historical theatres so don’t recall seeing one.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on July 17, 2007 at 7:26 pm

Patsy- the Theatre Row in Boston mentioned above was in place from 1932 when the Paramount opened until the end of 1943 when the Bijou was closed due to fire regulations. Then the Normandie closed in Feb. 1951. As for Lawrence, touring roadshows and concerts today play at the nearby Lowell Memorial Auditorium in Lowell, which seems adequate for today’s area needs. It has over 2800 seats, a balcony, and a large stage, was designed by the noted Boston theatre architect Clarence Blackall, and opened in 1922.

Patsy
Patsy on July 17, 2007 at 7:04 pm

I guess you can’t blame past generations, totally though it would be nice to see some of these theatre row theatres still being used and restored in Lawrence MA. I lived in Boston in the mid 60’s and don’t recall that Boston had a similar theatre row so perhaps it was before my time there.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on July 17, 2007 at 6:53 pm

Why should the citizens of Lawrence be ashamed ? Lawrence is a hard-scrabble town and many of the people who live there today were not there when “Theatre Row” was in its hey-day. The theatres became uneconomic, were closed and then demolished. End of story. BTW, there was a similar Theatre Row on Washington St. in downtown Boston. The RKO Keith Memorial, Bijou, Normandie, and Paramount where all in a row; a fifth movie theatre, the Modern, was located only one store-front away from the other four. There were similar Theatre Rows on the side-streets to the west of Times Sq. in NY.

Patsy
Patsy on July 16, 2007 at 6:41 pm

“The street is mentioned in Ripley’s Believe It or Not as the only place in the world where one can find four movie theatres in a row.” I would love to read more about these 4 “theatre row” theatres as the concept is so unique and should have been preserved for future generations. Is there not one of these 4 still in existence? If not, the citizens of Lawrence MA should be ashamed.