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There is no parking to be had at the United Palace. None.
And have you seen the neighborhood up there?
Skinny little streets to say the least..
That theater was built when it was expected that the neighborhood people would walk to it to see movies.
Worlds' most beautiful theater on the inside, butt-ugly on the outside, and horrible location. Don’t know why anybody would want to hold anything there.
I believe I once read that the arch was created by Gutzon Borglum, who also did Mt. Rushmore. Does anybody have any information on this?
Just to clarify, the TV shows are taped at the Rich Forum. The Palace is still offering live shows.
Well, never say never. I was just on the “Live Nation” Chevy (Oakdale) Theater site, and in the lower corner they link to other CT. theaters that are part of the Live Nation network. And one of them is the Palace Theater. THIS PALACE THEATER! Same address and all. You go to the page, and it says no listings at this time. Regardless, is something going on with this theater that we don’t know about? Hey, Live Nation has big pockets. If they want their own theater in New Haven, all the better.
And by the way, it never had good acoustics, contrary to what was said. They even admitted as much when showing how they’ve now put speakers practically everywhere to shore up the acoustical shortcomings. It was always distorted on the low end to my ears. But it looks like the modern technology will help.
I waited with much anticipation for the MSG show. But, as is typical with MSG “docs”, it was mostly talking heads. And the era covered was mostly the last 15 years. Not only was there barely a mention of the entire history, they barely even touched on any of the rock shows presented there in the 70’s. Hello, the Beacon didn’t open in 1989, but that was about as much history covered. The writers of this show would have done well to read every single post above, and then present a more balanced approach to the entire history of the building. The same rock stars saying the same things over and over was pretty much what you got. But it certainly doesn’t hurt to promote the beautiful restoration going forward. Looks like they did a fantastic job on the renewel. I want to go to a show now just to see what they did in person.
While we want to see all old theaters preserved, the reality is that New Haven already has the Shubert. There is no need for a second theater. Even a city as large as New Haven can only support one arts center, and in these tough economic times, that is truer than ever. Look at Stamford, where the bankrupt SCA has to bring in Jerry Springer and his ilk to fill their second theater, the Rich Forum.
That is the building, as shown by Roger Katz above. In the 50’s and 60’s I remember it being a car repair shop. I believe it was very old, perhaps being built at the beginning of the century. The year might have been engraved on the front of the building originally. It was turned into a movie theater in the 70’s, but it was just a flat floor with folding chairs as I recall. Showed adult films for awhile. It then became a series of different clubs until it was demolished. I’d hardly call it a theater. But it did show movies, so I’m glad to finally see it listed here, if only to complete the history for Stamford.
To somomanâ€¦you are very correct. Bill Graham endeavored to provide the best sound possible. He didnâ€™t have a lot to work with. Young people will find it hard to believe that in the 60â€™s professional sound reinforcement equipment barely existed. Take it from someone who heard(?) the Beatles play at Shea in 1966. But Billâ€™s efforts notwithstanding, I still believe the building takes a lot of the credit. Acoustics is a very hit or miss science. Ask any sound engineers or architects who have ever worked on Avery Fisher Hall. A sound disaster from day one.
Meanwhile, thanks for the heads up on the sweet spot at the Beacon. I sat in those seats in 1988 for GTR. Your secret is safe with me. LOL.
I would like to put forth the opinion that the Fillmore had much better acoustics than the Academy of Music or the Beacon. Perhaps the best of any theater that I’ve been in that featured rock music. My theory is that the Fillmore was long and skinny (when you sat in the last row, you were pretty far from the stage). This enabled the low end, acoustically speaking, to properly “sound out."
In contrast, the Academy was more wide than long, and the acoustics for amplified music suffered. This is even more true of the Beacon, which seems even shorter, front to back, than the Academy was. When someone tells me that the Beacon has good acoustics, I just laugh.
Note to Randall, that certainly looks like one of the old wall lanterns. And yes, as incredible as it may seem, the Fillmore sat open and unlocked in 1976. One day in 1976, with flashlight in hand, I went inside through a side door that was ajar (actually a number of them were; that’s where some amount of light came from). I got to stand on the stage (a spooky thrill) and walk up the stairs to the multi-level dressing rooms where all my idols had once hung out. Talk about ghosts. I remember some water damage, a few seats burned, probably by some bum, and some of the marble walls behind the last rows smashed, but at that point it was still way salvageable. The disco came later. And the bank/condos way later.
I think I saw “Altered States” with William Hurt here in 1980.
Saw the Joe Cocker film “Mad Dogs and Englishmen” in the early 70’s when the theater was called “Kips Bay”. That’s how it was advertised. I think it should be listed that way on this site, as I thought it was missing. Glad it’s here, anyway.
I have been attended many concerts (and one wrestling match) at the Beacon since 1974. I was there last night (08/09/07) for the Crowded House concert. Sat in the upper balcony. With the upcoming $10 million renovation looming next year, I went with an eye towards what the theater may be in need of. Certainly not any renovation, but rather a refurbishment.
The artwork seems to be in good, perhaps not great shape. Some of the walls in the theater need to be repainted or resurfaced as there is some peeling. The lighting needs to be improved (within the original fixtures, of course) and the large chandelier was not turned on at all during the evening. That would be a starting point.
All in all, I would expect the place to be much brighter and newer looking when the work is done.
Shortly after Bill Graham closed it, someone else reopened it as the NFE Theater. (New Fillmore East) I remember Bachman-Turner Overdrive opened it the same night I went to a concert at the Academy of Music on 14th St. This didn’t last very long.
Saw King Crimson here…the version that had two bass players and two drummers. Early 90’s? Had a nice view from the right upper balcony.
I believe that this theater operated as the “White Plains Music Hall” in the 70’s. I saw Gentle Giant there sometime in the 70’s.
It was a beautiful 50’s style theater. Remember seeing “The Graduate” and “Good Neighbor Sam” there.
I remember this being the “Darkest” of all the Stamford Movie Theaters' back in the 60’s. Impossible to adjust your eyes to find a seat when you first walked in. Remember seeing “The Time Machine” here in 1962. Also saw either “A Hard Days Night' or "Help” there.
One debuted at the Plaza and one at the Palace. Near the end the paint was peeling badly from the ceiling. The old girl had to go for the Town Center Mall. That was progress?
The original balcony was actually stadium seating at the rear of the orchestra.
This theater was replaced by the Rich Forum approx. 20 years ago. The decorative arch was transferred into the lobby of the new theater. I saw my first movie in the mid-50’s at this theater…“Song of the South” by Walt Disney.
I’ll never understand why the original theater was demolished, only to build a new theater of the same size in the same spot. The interior was unique. Can anybody spell “restoration”? I’m still angry they did that. I can remember seeing “Love Story” and The Posiedian Adventure" there in the 70’s. The SCA had both this theater and the Palace…they saved one and not the other. Go figure.
I believe this theater was closed from sometime in the 50’s until sometime in the very early 60’s. From memory only. Can anybody verify this?
The Strand was next to the Palace Theater. It was the first building to the left of the Palace. Yes, two theaters and two Marquees right next to each other. It was demolished in the late 60’s I think. A small open air park with a fountain was built in it’s place. Lady Byrd Johnson dedicated the park. When the Palace was expanded several years ago, the park was removed, and the space is now a walkway which leads over to the Majestic Theater on Summer St. ext. In the mid 60’s, when the theater was closed but still standing, I walked thru the front door, which lead to a hallway. The theater was to the left, much like the old Plaza Theater setup. It was too dark to make out any detail in the theater.