Palace Theater, Cleveland

Palace Theater, Cleveland

The Palace Theater is a theater in Playhouse Square Center in downtown Cleveland, Ohio. The theater was originally named “Keith’s Palace Theater” after the business partner of its original owner, Edward Albee. It was designed by the Chicago architectural firm of Rapp and Rapp in the French Renaissance style, and originally housed various vaudeville shows. The $2 million theater opened in the Keith Building on November 6, 1922, seating 3,100. The interior was clad with Carrara marble and 154 crystal chandeliers, and the main lobby, dubbed the “Great Hall,” was decorated with over 30 paintings.

The advent of the motion-picture age led to the gradual replacement of the vaudeville acts with movies, although vaudeville maintained a presence at the theater until the 1950s. The Palace was subsequently transformed into a cinerama, which required the removal of 1,800 seats. On July 20, 1969, the theater shut down because of air-conditioning trouble, and remained closed because of financial difficulty. In November 1973, the Playhouse Square Foundation obtained the lease for the Palace, and began producing cabaret shows in the partially-reopened theater in order to attract attention to its efforts to restore Playhouse Square. In 1978, the theater was added to the National Register of Historic Places, along with the rest of the Playhouse Square group.

After a $36.4 million renovation project, the Palace Theater completely reopened in 1988 with 2,714 seats, making it the second-largest theater on Playhouse Square.


* [ "Amazing facts and figures"] Playhouse Square Center. 2003-2005. Accessed December 3 2006.
* [ "Palace Theater"] Melnik, Ross. Cinema Treasures. 2000-2005. Accessed December 3 2006.
* [ "Palace Theater"] The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History. May 131998. Accessed December 32006.
* [ "The Keith Building"] Emporis. 2006. Accessed December 32006.

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