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The Show Goes On At Landmark Albany Theatre

The Palace Theatre, the grand cultural and entertainment facility that sits in the heart of downtown Albany, will soldier on. A new management team promises to keep the venue’s momentum, and traditions alive.

The RKO Palace's doors first opened in October 1931. Built during the Depression, it was the largest theatre in a city already noted for having several opulent movie houses. A nickel would buy an afternoon of entertainment.

The Palace was sold to the Fabian chain in the early 1940s. Fabian operated it until closure in September, 1969.  

Led by Holly Brown, a new Palace Theatre management team intends to build upon the strong momentum the theatre, a not-for-profit corporation, has built since Brown joined the staff in September 2011.  

Brown says this season will likely end with 112 events on the books. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the theatre at the corner of Clinton Avenue and North Pearl Street over time has featured many legendary acts: including Harry Houdini, Duke Ellington, The Rolling Stones, Bill Cosby, Jefferson Airplane and Frank Zappa.

Brown's new team has overseen improvements to the facility, including free parking in conjunction with the Albany Parking Authority in the Quackenbush Garage for all Palace events.

Most recently, the Palace Theatre has played a major role in creating a new energy for the downtown arts and entertainment district in the city of Albany. The 2,800 seat theatre underwent a complete interior renovation in 2002, including all new carpeting, a new stage curtain, fabric wall treatments and fresh paint on the ceiling and throughout the theatre. The venue also installed a new electrical system to power the stage and affixed a state-of-the-art full color replica of the original marquee designed in 1931 to the theatre’s façade. The new marquee was funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in conjunction with the city of Albany and the Downtown Albany Business Improvement District.

In 2013, the Palace was voted one of the top ten most beautiful theatres in the country by Flavorwire.  

Here's a link to a full event calendar and more information about the Palace!

Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.
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