Today on Day’s to remember, we celebrate how on March 25th 1913 The Palace Theatre opened in New York City.
If you never heard of The Palace Theatre before, it was designed by Milwaukee architects Kirchoff & Rose, the 1,740-seat theatre was funded by Martin Beck, a vaudeville entrepreneur based in San Francisco.
When the theatre finally opened on March 24, 1913, with headliner Ed Wynn, it was not an instant success and lost money for months.
With the Great Depression came a rise in the popularity of film and radio, and vaudeville began its decline.
The transformation of all of Keith–Albee–Orpheum’s vaudeville houses into movie houses through a merger with RCA and the Film Booking Office at the hands of Joseph P. Kennedy in 1929, was a major blow but did allow many to see their favorite radio performers of the day on the Palace stage.
The ghost of acrobat Louis Borsalino is said to haunt the theatre. According to various versions of the story Borsalino “fell to his death in the 1950s” and that “Stagehands say that when the theater is empty, the ghost of Borsalino can be seen swinging from the rafters. He lets out a blood-curdling scream, then re-enacts his nose dive.”
However, in reality Borsalino, who was a member of the Four Casting Pearls, was only injured when he fell 18 feet during a performance on August 28, 1935, before 800 theatergoers.
Today’s YouTube video presentation below gives you a little history of the famous celebrities that first appeared before reaching stardom at The Palace Theater in New York.
Brought to you by user name, (End of the Rainbow Broadway), as we celebrate how on March 25th 1913 The Palace Theatre opened in New York City.
In the late 1980s, a towering hotel was built above the theater, cantilevered over the auditorium; today, the theater façade almost invisible behind an enormous wall of billboards beneath the skyscraper, and only the marquee is visible.
The organ was remarkably small in size for so prestigious a house, but perhaps the management of the time did not foresee the future dominance of film and the need that silent movies had for a good sized organ. Projectors had been installed in March, 1915 under a slight remolding by architect James S. Gavigan.
The theatre was wired for sound movies in 1929, a pivotal year in many respects.
As we celebrate the opening of The Palace Theatre today on March 25th opening its doors for the first time in the year 1913.
Written & Designed by JD Mitchell