MichaelMinn.com

Palace Theatre

Albany, NY
Opened 1931
Seats 2,844
(http://www.palacealbany.com)

The Palace opened in October, 1931 as an RKO movie house that presented vaudeville acts between feature films. The building features an Austrian Baroque design with "Atmospheric elements." The Palace is the last survivor of a number of movie palaces that once entertained Albanites and has maintained many of its original design features.

When I was there in 2002, the house lights were still controlled by what was, for its day, a very high-tech vacuum tube light board. The lighting panel onstage controlled a large room of relays, transformers and tubes under the stage. Obsolete, unreliable and dangerous, I believe it had been replaced as part of a general renovation by the time I got back in 2006.

I respond when two worlds that don't belong together end up together. That's why the musical could only have been born here: New York is all these little countries sharing a city. All the different rhythms of those different communities is what made the American musical possible. (George C. Wolfe)