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Palace Theatre
Theater marquee and entrance, 2009
Coordinates 42°39′16″N 73°45′2″W / 42.65444°N 73.75056°W / 42.65444; -73.75056
Type RKO movie palace
Built June 1930 - October 1931
Opened October 1931
Location 19 Clinton Avenue, Albany, New York, USA
Owner City of Albany, New York
Renovated 1960, 2002-03
Capacity 2,844

Coordinates: 42°39′16″N 73°45′02″W / 42.65444°N 73.75056°W / 42.65444; -73.75056

The Palace Theatre is an entertainment venue in downtown Albany, New York, located on the corner of Clinton Avenue (US 9) and North Pearl Street (NY 32). The 2,844 seat theater is owned by the City of Albany and presents various music, drama, film, and comedy performances. It is home to the Albany Symphony Orchestra.

At its opening, in October 1931, it was the third largest movie theater in the world.[1] Designed by John Eberson, The Palace is considered an excellent example of the architect's atmospheric theatres. In 1979 it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Nine years later it was declared a contributing property to the Clinton Avenue Historic District.



The theater is on a small lot at the northwest corner of the intersection, just north of downtown. It is a brick and stone steel frame building in two sections.[1]

The front two stories, facing the corner and including the marquee with a modern scrolling LED display, are faced in tan brick with some stone ornamentation. The windows have carved brackets. There are open pediments with cartouches and brick parapets with molded stone coping.[1]

The taller auditorium, to the northwest, features a banded chimney and decorative brickwork facing the south. The east elevation, along Pearl, has circular arcading and banded pilasters.[1]

Palace Theatre
U.S. National Register of Historic Places
Built/Founded: 1931
Architect: John Eberson
Architectural style(s): Art Deco
Governing body: City of Albany
Added to NRHP: October 4, 1979
NRHP Reference#: 79003235[2]

The interior is designed and decorated in the Austrian Baroque style. The foyer, between the lobby and main entrance, has red marble staircases decorated in scrollwork, cartouches, and garlands. The wrought iron railing is foliated. Murals by two Hungarian artists decorate the walls.[1]

The balcony level extends over two-thirds of the sloping main floor. The heavily decorated ceilings and walls include pilasters rising to complex entablatures, statuary, and arches framing the wall boxes. A Czech made crystal chandelier hangs from the ceiling. The orchestra pit can be raised and lowered by an elevator.[1]


The Palace Theatre was originally built as an RKO movie palace. Construction took place from June 1930 to October 1931. When it opened it was Albany's largest movie theater,[3] and the third largest in the world.[1]

75th anniversary logo

In 1940, The Palace was sold to FAST Theatres, part of Fabian Enterprises, when RKO exited the theater business due to antitrust concerns.

The Rolling Stones played at The Palace in April 1965 as part of their third American tour. Genesis also played at the venue in December 1974 in support of their double album The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway.

The theater underwent a $250,000 renovation in 1960, more seating was added, but closed in September 1969 as it had become unprofitable.[3] Soon after its closure the building was purchased by the City of Albany for $90,000 and reopened. During the first few years of the city's ownership a new boiler and roof were installed, the limit of its renovations for decades.[1] It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on October 4, 1979. In 2002 an extensive restoration project began, completed in January 2003, at a cost of $3 million. Work was carried out by local historic preservationists EYP.[4]


See also

External links



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