Old World splendor and modern performance standards meet at this renovated heritage theater located in Albany’s downtown. Tour the building or see a show.
The Palace Theater harks back to a time when going to the theater, even simply to see a movie, was a big event. Built in 1931, the theater was constructed by a team of artisans who aimed to bring a Baroque sensibility to the space, including enormous murals and beams painted to look like carved wood. Though the theater fell on hard times in the 1970s, it was rescued and is now run by a non-profit that seeks to bring entertainment of all kinds to the city of Albany, from John Cougar Mellencamp to classic cinema. Have a nostalgic evening in this lovely theater.
Make your approach to the Palace Theater at twilight when the newly renovated LED marquee, modeled on the original ’30s design, lights up the street. Be transported back to an earlier age as you move through the lobby, bathed in the glow of the original enormous brass chandelier. Take your time on the red carpet-lined staircase before entering the performance hall, where you’ll see its impressive craftsmanship. There’s not a bad seat in the house, so settle in for an enjoyable performance. Before the lights dim look up at the gilt molding that lends gravitas to whatever show is playing on stage.
Go to the Palace on Monday evenings for their “Classic Movie Nights.” For $5, theater-goers can relax with favorites from Casablanca to National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, sometimes projected from real film reels. Relive more memories with the period-appropriate commercials shown before and after the movie. Appreciate the old-time charm of the Palace with a sing-along to the classic 1980s Maybelline jingle “I’m at my best with Maybelline” before a screening of Back to the Future.
Walk about 15 minutes to the Palace Theater from Nelson A. Rockefeller Plaza or take advantage of the free parking offered just down the street from the theater on performance nights. Street parking is also available nearby at other times. Purchase tickets online or from the theater’s box office. Be aware that there is no coat check.