BRINGING THE MOVIE MAGIC BACK TO NY'S UNITED PALACE
Like most movie aficionados, The United Palace of Cultural Arts (UCPA) in uptown Manhattan believes that going to the movies should be a special experience. You can watch just about any movie on your phone, tablet or computer any time you want, anywhere you want. But that is not going to a movie. When the lights go down in a movie theatre you are transported, immersed, lost in the story. Part of the thrill is basking in a community of hundreds - or thousands - of fellow audience members all temporarily joined by a shared moment. It’s not the same as trying to watch a tiny screen with buds shoved in your ears while being jostled on the A-train. The Palace is Manhattan’s fourth largest theatre, and the only one north of 125th Street, and since the closure of the historic Ziegfeld Theatre, it (unbelievably) stands as the only film palace left in the city.
As it was then known, the Loew’s 175th Street theatre opened in 1930 as a temple for film, designed in the exotic style that was all the rage, built to whisk you away from your day-to-day troubles into a world of fantasy. The setting remains as spectacular today as it was during the Depression: the ornamental Buddhas, cherubs, lions, and even elephants preserved in their gilded outrageousness. It has been heralded as “The best place to see movies the way they used to be” in New York City by entertainment media
They stopped showing movies at the Palace in 1969 when Rev. Ike purchased, and preserved, the building for his church, which continues to be the theatre’s caretaker. But over the past three years the nonprofit United Palace of Cultural Arts has led two successful fundraising campaigns totaling over $200,000 to return movies to the Palace. The first campaign allowed The Palace to purchase used projection equipment to begin showing movies again. The second campaign allowed us to purchase a new 50-foot screen. Based on the success of those campaigns, UPCA have presented over 30 movies since January 2013. In 2016 Broadway superstar Lin-Manuel Miranda donated a new DCP projector and the Palace purchased a new JBL 3.1 audio system. (Learn more about our ongoing efforts to "Reawaken Wonder at a Timeless Movie Palace.")
In the 1930s the theatre also served as a vaudeville house. That legacy continues with pre- or post-movie entertainment at most screenings. There is a currently a campaign to instal state of the art sound into The Palace and you can make a donation HERE. For more info on The Palace visit their site HERE.
Here's the Palace's schedule through December of this year, each with a theme of 'wonder':
The Wonder of Science Fiction
“Blade Runner: Final Cut (2007)”
The Wonder of Mom
“The Sound of Music”
The Wonder of Heroes
“Dog Day Afternoon”
The Wonder of America
“Coming to America”
The Wonder of Summer
The Wonder of Comedy
“City Lights” (with live organ)
The Wonder of Horror
“Night of the Living Dead”
UPCA’s movie gala - TBD
The Wonder of Holiday Magic
“It's a Wonderful Life”
Words by Palace Theatre, NY.