The Palace Theatre
Theater in Albany, NY
19 Clinton Avenue
Albany, NY 12207
The Palace Theatre, a grand cultural and entertainment facility in the heart of Albany , New York , first opened its doors in October 1931. Built during the Depression, the Palace was the largest theatre in a city already noted for a number of other opulent movie houses. Today, the Palace Theatre remains the sole survivor of this period of entertainment and continues to make history with a widely diverse offering of popular acts and cultural events.
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The Palace is located on the northwest corner of Clinton Avenue and North Pearl Street on a parcel of land assembled from fifteen separate properties. Apparently some difficulty was encountered in putting together the land for two lots remained within the theatre property boundaries and the building was designed around two existing buildings which still stand. Construction started in June of 1930, barely two months after the land was actually acquired. The original working drawing indicate Fabian Securites, Inc., was the client and RKO the lessee. By October 1931, the theatre was completed.
In 1989, the Palace Performing Arts Center was incorporated as a not-for-profit corporation to manage the business activities of the theatre. The Palace Theatre's became and continues to be the most diversified in the Capital District and is still the home of the Albany Symphony Orchestra.
The Palace Theatre's 2,844 seats are an ideal size for popular acts, (such as Melissa Etheridge, Jerry Seinfeld, Bill Cosby, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison, and Aretha Franklin), theatrical events, (including Stomp, Tap Dogs, Grease, and A Christmas Carol), gospel shows, community events, (First Night Concerts, Mayor's Inauguration, Albany Law School Graduation, Armed Forces Bands), local dance studio recitals, daytime children's presentations, and even boxing. Arguably the most notable concert event took place at the Palace Theatre in April of 1965 when the now legendary Rolling Stones appeared here on their first tour of the United States .
The revitalization of the Palace Theatre has been a major priority of the City of Albany to help create a new energy for the downtown arts and entertainment district. Beginning in 2002, interior renovations completed in the first phase included all new carpeting, a stage curtain, fabric wall treatments, fresh paint on the ceiling and throughout the theatre, general public improvements and the refurbishment of over 2,800 seats. Phase Two renovations called for a new electrical system to power the stage. And of course the most obvious of our renovations (also in Phase Two) is our new marquee! It is a state-of-the-art full color replica of the original marquee designed in 1931. The new marquee fabrication and installation was made possible by a grant from Housing and Urban Development (sourced through the office of the Mayor) and a grant provided through the Downtown Business Improvement District.
Stayed tuned…as they say…the best is yet to come!