Morris Performing Arts Center
211 N. Michigan Street,
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Morris Performing Arts Center (Official)
Previous Names: Palace Theater, Morris Civic Audtiorium
Built on par with theaters in much larger cities, the Palace Theater was the location for vaudeville, movies, dancing and more for 37 years. It opened on November 2, 1922 with Mary Miles Minter in “The Cowboy and the Lady” on the screen plus Orpheum vaudeville on the stage. It had 2,665 seats. By 1941 it was operated by Paramount Pictures Inc. through their subsidiary John Balaban.
Faced with declining numbers, the Palace Theater closed in 1955. E. M. Morris saved the classic theater from destruction and helped reopen it as a performing arts center. The center was named for her.
After years of continued use, the Morris underwent renovations which were completed in November 2011. The restoration of the structure, which includes the theater, lobby, and plaza, has returned the Morris Performing Arts Center to its palatial roots.
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