The Palace Theatre is a historic Saint Paul venue, which opened as a vaudeville house in 1916. Closed to regular use since 1977, with a short stint hosting “A Prairie Home Companion” in 1984, the City has revived the Palace Theatre into a 2,800-capacity concert venue for contemporary music. The careful work has allowed rediscovery of the venue's historic charm. The Palace Theatre is located on 7th Place, a pedestrian-only block in the heart of downtown Saint Paul.
Enhancing the vibrant downtown entertainment district is at the core of this project. Expected to attract more than 100,000 people downtown annually, the Palace Theatre will fill a need in the current entertainment venue market by offering a contemporary music venue twice as large as Minneapolis' First Avenue.
The completion of the Palace Theatre project is a capstone to a year spent celebrating and amplifying the city’s music scene and its impact on economic development and cultural vibrancy, as Mayor Chris Coleman declared 2016 the Year of Music in Saint Paul. Watch the Facebook Live video of Mayor Coleman opening the doors to the Palace Theatre on December 16, 2016!
Reviving the Palace Theatre
The City of Saint Paul has given new life to the 100-year-old Palace Theatre. When the City of Saint Paul purchased the Palace in the fall of 2015, the building was near disrepair. In fact, if the city had not taken leadership to renovate the building, it would have been condemned in the very near future due to the deterioration.
Many of the amenities in the venue were modernized, including new bathrooms, HVAC system, roof, and a more robust bar area. However, the aesthetics of the building have been frozen in time. Over a time period of around 14 months, a crew of nearly 25 have preserved many of the venue's original architectural elements, stopped the deterioration of the finishes, and stabilized the surfaces for many years of future enjoyment.
Walk through a bit of the history and construction timeline of the Palace Theatre, complete with photos and videos, here.
Palace Theatre sessions
The Current recorded a series of musical performances from local artists during the construction of the Palace Theatre.