The Palace Theatre was designated an interior landmark by New York City in 1987 and was designed by Milwaukee architects Kirchoff & Rose, built by the Vaudeville mogul Martin Beck in 1913. Over the course of the last century, the Palace Theatre has been transformed from a vaudeville playhouse to a movie theater to a performing arts theater. PBDW was engaged to update and restore the Palace Theatre and elevate the designated interior landmark 30 feet, allowing for the addition of over 10,000 SF of new front-of-house space, code-compliant and accessible circulation, and expanded back-of-house space, while providing new retail space below.
The new entry sequence to the theater begins at street level on 47th Street with an 80-foot long marquee. Patrons ascend via a series of escalators to the new grand lobby at orchestra level and enter the theater along the historic entry axis through its original doorways. We are re-building the stage house, including a new gridiron, providing stage lifts, a new orchestra pit, and an enlarged trap room with new elevators. Additionally, we are designing an entirely new front- and back-of-house space. We will restore the elaborate, long-lost, decorative plaster elements, install new custom light fixtures, and implement a finish scheme reflective of the theater’s early appearance implemented.
The structural and logistics team that successfully moved the Empire Theater on 42nd Street in 1998 will be overseeing the lift of the Palace. Following this transformation, the Palace will be elevated—physically, functionally, and experimentally—returning it to a level of grandeur doing justice to its spectacular, unique interior and rich history.