New York has always been a favorite destination of aspiring artists and performers, as evident by the number of theater and movie houses that are scattered throughout the state. There are three Palace Theaters in New York City. Of the three, the Albany Palace Theater has the distinction of being recognized as a national historic site and deemed as one of the finest examples of early 20th century atmospheric theater architecture by acclaimed architect John Eberson.
Located in the heart of Albany, the Palace Theater has been in business since the 1930s. Interestingly enough, the large theater house bravely opened its doors to the public during the height of the Great Depression. Despite its seemingly bleak environment and the presence of numerous other opulent movie houses in the area, the Palace Theater flourished first as a vaudeville theater and eventually became Albany’s premier movie house during the advent of “talkies” thanks to its facilities, size, and location.
Over the years the theater’s owners have commissioned several renovations in order to modernize the theater’s facilities while taking pains in preserving the ornate Austrian Baroque design of the auditorium and maintaining many of its original design features like the brass chandelier in the main lobby, the Andrew Karoly and Jules Zartol original murals, and the recognizable plaster beams of the fore-lobby.
The Palace Theater has had its fair share of ups and downs since it first opened for business more than 70 years ago. One thing that remains consistent throughout the years is their tradition of hosting fine live entertainment for its audiences. A variety of artists and performers have graced the Palace Theater stage such as Bruce Springsteen, Jerry Seinfeld, the Rolling Stones, and even modern popular acts like the Jonas Brothers, The Cheetah Girls, and Aly & AJ have performed onstage. The Palace Theater is home to the Albany Symphony Orchestra, one of the oldest professional symphony orchestras in New York.