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Palace Theatre Columbus
Located at the base of the LeVeque Tower on Broad Street is the famous Palace Theatre Columbus. Formerly, from the period of 1930"s to 1950"s, the Palace Theatre was one of the most active live show theatres in Columbus.
Today, it is still a very popular performing arts venue operated by CAPA. The Palace Theatre Columbus is beautifully designed and decorated with the influence of France"s Palais de Versailles, and is indeed an alluring station for an evening of the arts.
The Palace Theatre Columbus is a movie palace in Columbus Ohio, which can seat 2,827 people. Built in 1926, the Palace Theatre was designed by Thomas W. Lamb. The venue had been built as a part of the LeVeque Tower.
The theatre"s design and decoration is highly influenced by France"s Palais de Versailles. The Palace Theatre is embellished with a chandelier, grand staircase, a mural, a hall of autographed pictures, and a fountain.
Originally, it was a vaudeville house and the construction of the theater was personally supervised by vaudeville mogul Edward Albee of the Keith-Albee circuit. Opened as Keith-Albee Palace in 1926, it featured live vaudeville along with silent feature films, an orchestra and a Wurlitzer theater organ.
Great attention was paid to the hall"s acoustics. In 1929, the Palace became the RKO (Radio Keith Orpheum), which it remained until the 1970s, when was closed as a movie theater.
Keeping the actors" traveling needs in mind, the dressing room tower in the backstage area was designed as a small hotel, complete with a "front desk," where performers picked up their room keys and mail.
Kitchen facilities were also present, along with a designated children's playroom for touring performers. The dressing rooms were, and are still named after cities on the vaudeville touring routes.
Other than paying attention to artists" needs, the animals were also given due importance. There was a porcelain animal bath installed below the stage. There is also a ramp leading to the stage, as many animals will go up stairs, but not down.
Over the years, most of the top names in the entertainment business have appeared at the Palace Theatre, including Bing Crosby, Nat "King" Cole, Louis Armstrong, Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington, Jackie Gleason, Jack Benny, Mae West, Tommy & Jimmy Dorsey, Burns and Allen, Eddie Cantor, Bill Robinson, Glenn Miller, Gypsy Rose Lee, and Harpo and Chico Marx.
After shutting down as a movie theater in 1975, the Palace Theatre was later renovated and preserved by owner Katherine LeVeque as a home for Opera Columbus and touring Broadway shows.
Then in the April of 1989, the Palace Theatre was purchased by CAPA, which is a non-profit theater management company, consolidating its administrative functions with those of the Ohio Theatre.
Currently, the Palace is home to performances by The Columbus Symphony Orchestra, The Jazz Arts Group, The Broadway Series, and scores of CAPA-sponsored shows annually, including Kathleen Battle, Natalie Cole, Tommy Tune, Howie Mandel, David Sanborn, Les Ballets Africains, Mandy Patinkin, Raffi, David Copperfield, Manhattan Transfer, Andy Williams, American Indian Dance Theatre, George Benson, Michael Feinstein, Peter, Paul and Mary, and Bonnie Raitt.
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