Saturday, October 2, 2010

Louisville Palace Theater (Photographs)

625 South Fourth Street
Louisville, Kentucky

The facade of the Louisville Palace Theater, 2006. Opened in
1928 as the Loew's Theater, this grand movie house was
designed by noted movie palace designer, John Eberson (1875-1964).
Photo by StevietheMan and courtesy of Wikipedia.

Wall detail in the outer lobby. Eberson utilized the
Spanish Baroque style for the theater. He often used
"exotic" archtiectural styles for his theaters. This magnificent
edifice The theater remained open as a movie house until
1978 when it closed as a movie house. It was purchased by
investors and opened as a nightclub. The club closed in the
mid-1980s and the theater was purchased in 1991 by a company
with the intention of restoring it and creating a venue for live
performance. Photograph by Jack Boucher, 1979 for the Historic
American Buildings Survey (HABS), courtesy of the Library of
Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.

The house and stage of the Louisville Palace. The theater is designed
to enconce the audience in a Spanish Baroque courtyard. The ceiling
is an atmospheric ceiling with clouds. In the 1960s, this balcony was
enclosed as a second theater, but this alternation was removed in the
1990s restoration. It's not hard to imagine spirits spending their afterlife
in such a magnificent edifice. A handful of spirits have been reported here
including a man in 1930s clothing that has been seen in this balcony. When
approached by ushers, the man disappears. Photo taken in 1928, courtesy
of the Historic American Building Survey (HABS) collection, Library of
Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.

The lobby with the Grand Staircase leading to the mezzanine lobby.
A staff member has reported seeing a woman in a 1940s era outfit
climbing the stairs. When the spirit stops and turns, she has no
face. Photo taken in 1928, courtesy of the Historic American Building
Survey (HABS) collection, Library of Congress, Prints and
Photographs Division.

The upper lobby with its magnificent coffered ceiling.
The sculptural details on the ceiling feature the heads of
138 "immortals" including John Eberson, the theater's
architect, Socrates and Beethoven. Photo taken in 1928, courtesy
of the Historic American Building Survey (HABS) collection,
Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.
The entrance to the Ladies Parlor. Theater employees have heard
a young child's giggling coming from the restroom just beyond this
door. One staff member reports seeing a pair of child's feet in a stall
and heard stall doors slamming. Photo taken in 1928, courtesy
of the Historic American Building Survey (HABS) collection, Library of
Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.

The house from the stage. The projector room towards the back,
now used as the lighting booth is where the spirit of a former
projectionist may roam. Legend speaks of a loyal projectionist
who suffered a major heart attack while on the job. As he was
being carried from the booth on a door, he fell off and down the
stairs, dying instantly. Staff have encountered his spirit in his old
booth. Photo taken in 1928, courtesy of the Historic American Building
Survey (HABS) collection, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs
Division.

The mezzanine promenande. During the restoration, the spirit
of a man in 1940s era clothing appeared throughout the theater.
Workers had tools moved and would hear voices. One workers
who fell asleep on scaffolding while painting a ceiling was awaken
by a voice moments before he nearly rolled off. This spirit continues
to be seen througout the theater. This spirit has been identified as
Ferdinand Frisch, a theater employee who died in the building in
1965. Photo taken in 1928, courtesy of the Historic American Building Survey
(HABS) collection, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.

Sources
Historic American Buildings Survey. Loew's Theatre, 625 South Fourth Street,
     Louisville, Jefferson, KY. HABS Collection, Library of Congress, 1979.
Gravatte, Jay. The Palace Theatre. Louisville Ghost Hunters Society. Accessed
     2 October 2010.
John Eberson. Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Accessed 2 October 2010.
Louisville Palace. History. Accessed 2 October 2010.
The Louisville Palace. Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Accessed 2 October 2010.
Parker, Robert W. Haunted Louisville: History and Hauntings from the Derby
     City. Decatur, IL, Whitechapel Press, 2007.

3 comments:

  1. I had no idea! I've been to several concerts at The Palace. This post gave me chills.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wow! I've never been to Louiville but the Palace looks beautiful. I really enjoyed this post.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I think my favourite report is the faceless woman on the stairs, that image gives me chills. KP, look for her next time you're there! :-)

    ReplyDelete