ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Albany’s Palace Theatre is an entertainment venue for musicians, comedians, children’s programming, and other performing acts. The venue has hosted a variety of famous bands including Black Sabbath, Guns N’ Roses, and ZZ Top.
According to the Palace Theatre website, the theater was built in 1932 and was designed by John Eberson, a prominent theatre architect of the time. The building was originally owned by RKO.
The Palace was built with an “ornate Austrian Baroque design” and had “atmospheric” elements in the auditorium. It still has most of its original design features, said the website, including its brass chandelier in the main lobby, original murals, and plaster beams painted to look like carved wood.
The theater originally had vaudeville acts between feature film showings. According to the website, once films with sound were released, the Palace Theatre became Albany’s “premier first-run movie house.”
With the rise of television, suburbia, and the “virtual abandonment of downtown,” the Palace began to decline. “Despite a quarter-million dollar renovation in 1960, the theatre continued to lose money,” said the website.
The Palace closed its doors in September 1969. The theater was then bought by the City of Albany for $90,000 to use as a civic auditorium. In November 1979, the Palace Theatre was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Palace Performing Arts Center, Inc. was established in 1984 and incorporated as a not-for-profit in 1989 to manage the Palace Theatre as a cultural and entertainment center in Albany. The Palace went through renovations in 2002 and 2003, which added a new LED marquee to replicate the original 1931 design.
Today, the Palace Theatre proudly continues its tradition of hosting live entertainment, said the website. The venue is home to the Albany Symphony Orchestra and has hosted artists such as The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, Roy Orbison, Tony Bennett, and Melissa Etheridge over the years.
The venue also hosts ballet and Broadway shows, family and children’s productions, city-sponsored events, and a classic Hollywood film series. “Once again, the Palace Theatre stands as the premier entertainment destination in the Capital Region,” said the website.