Palace Theatre gets new lease on life

posted by Jeffrey1955 on May 20, 2008 at 7:45 am

DANBURY, CT — The Palace Theatre, once a 2000-seat, vintage 1929 downtown venue on Main Street long listed on Cinema Treasures as “abandoned” and with an “uncertain future,” has apparently come back to life. Thanks to the efforts of owner Joe DaSilva, the theater is being renovated.

It will host part of the Connecticut Film Festival on May 20-25 in a portion of the auditorium, which was divided into a triplex in the 1980s. According to DaSilva, once funding is in place for further renovation and repairs, the orchestra and balcony will be reconstituted to the original 2000-seat configuration, and the Palace will be used for live theater, concerts and film.

Cinema Treasures contributor “shoeshoe14” who has posted numerous updates on this site, has written about the Palace for Fairfield Weekly, and there will be coverage on WFSB-TV 3 (Hartford) and in the Hartford Courant as well.

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Comments (3)

GaryParks on May 20, 2008 at 9:21 am

The Theatre Historical Society of America toured this theater on our 1990 Conclave (my first). It was still a firstrun theater then. The downstairs theaters were painted in neutral tones, but the ornament was all there. The upstairs consisted of the intact balcony, with a floor going out to a wide screen standing in front of the upper half of the proscenium and organ fronts. The ceiling dome still had its original gilded finishes, and in the center was a wonderful stained glass chandelier. The lobby is oval shaped, with a mezzanine running all around it, and pillars.

shoeshoe14 on May 21, 2008 at 3:47 pm

The event last nite was unbelievable and sold out with standing room only, Fox 61 news trucks, media and everything galore! Filmmaker spoke before Flyboys and then 2 hours of movie time. I’ve never experienced a movie quite like that as magic was in the air. The entire crowd was so vocal with emotions it was like we were sharing something bigger than us all at the same time. Standing ovation for 5 minutes for the filmmaker and after a huge party from 9:30-midnight. Band in the front lobby by the doors, by the statue was a lovely catered finger buffet passed around on trays and the same light/photo show by Carter Boyajian from First Night in January.

Front page news today and a buzz about the movie. I’m still floored by the movie I saw and am telling all the folks coming in about going to it again on Saturday (not at the Palace, but the Palace will be open for films all week/end).

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