Location: New York, New York
Address: 1564 Broadway
Capacity: approx 1740
When vaudeville showman Martin Beck built his new theatre in 1913, he envisioned the venue as the "Valhalla of Vaudeville." Designed by the architects Kirchoff and Rose, the Palace Theatre was the epitome of opulence with crimson and gold decorations, an expansive balcony and intricate murals decorating the inside of the performance hall. In its early years, the venue hosted some of the biggest names in vaudeville, such as Harry Houdini, Will Rogers, Jack Benny, Milton Berle, the Marx Brothers and countless other stars. However, after its initial success and the arrival of full-length feature movies with sound, the Palace Theatre became a movie house in 1932 while hosting the occasional vaudeville act and superstar special appearance. It would be more than three decades until the Nederlander Organization purchased the playhouse and converted it to a space to house legitimate theatre when it reopened in 1966.
In 1913, the Palace Theatre opened with a series of small acts that cost $1.50 for a daily performance and $2.00 in the evening. However, the initial shows did very little to wow audiences and it looked like the theatre would topple before it had a chance to shine. Luckily, the performance hall recovered a few weeks later with Miss Civilization, starring one of Broadway's biggest stars - Ethel Barrymore. This helped to put audiences in the seats and turn it into the vaudeville capital of the world.
The playhouse would return to prominence in 1966 as a legitimate theatre. It reopened with the musical Sweet Charity, starring Broadway mainstay Gwen Verdon, and went on to become a huge hit that put the Palace back on the map. The venue would go on to host a number of popular productions and notable performers over the next few years, but it would receive a huge critically-acclaimed hit in 1983 with La Cage aux Folles. The musical detailed the lives of gay lovers played by George Hearn and Gene Barry and was based off of the popular French film of the same name. It would run for 1,761 performances and pick up Tony Awards for Best Musical, Best Original Score, Best Direction of a Musical and Best Actor in a Musical. The Palace Theatre also hosted the premiere of the smash musical Beauty and the Beast in 1994, which would become the longest-running production at the space with more than 5,400 performances before moving to the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre in 1999.
The Palace Theatre's ample size and timeless style have made it one of the most renowned performance halls on Broadway that will continue to enthrall audiences with its elaborate spectacles.
Palace Theatre Ticket Information:
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