A Word From The United Palace
We believe in the magic of moviegoing. Sure, you can watch any movie, anytime at home or on your phone. But that is not going to a movie. It’s different at our 86-year-old theatre. breathtaking architecture. Pre- and post-show entertainment. An audience that often dresses in costume. And now we have a state-of-the-art projector donated by Lin-Manuel Miranda. All we need is cinema-quality sound to complete the theatre’s rebirth, transforming the United Palace into the MOVIE PALACE NYC deserves.
Who we are and what we do
The United Palace is recreating the movie palace of your dreams.
Its Eastern-themed architecture, which was all the rage in 1930 when it opened as one of the New York metro area’s five “Wonder Theatres,” still enraptures, having been preserved since 1969 when the renown prosperity preacher Reverend Ike purchased the building and moved his congregation here. That was the year the movies faded to black at the theatre. Then in 2013 the nonprofit United Palace of Cultural Arts (UPCA) began a series of fundraisers to purchase used projectors and a new screen to return movies to the Palace. Our screenings of classic, independent, and foreign films attract thousands of guests annually. Many of them dress up in period costume or the style of the picture being shown. To honor the theatre’s vaudeville roots, most screenings begin with a stage show – live music, dancing, or a Q&A. The mix of live entertainment and a movie prompted AMny newspaper to call the Palace, “The best place to see movies the way they used to be” in New York City. Most movies are subtitled in Spanish to attract the largely Latino local community.
Encouraged by this success, and the closure of the Ziegfeld in January 2016, UPCA launched a campaign to upgrade its projection and audio equipment to Hollywood standards. Broadway superstar and friend of United Palace, Lin-Manuel Miranda, helped kick-off the effort by donating $100,000 to purchase a new projector, which was installed in time for him to host a screening of “Mary Poppins” in October, which nearly filled the 3,400-seat theatre.
Now to complete the theatre’s revival, UPCA is kicking off “Reawaken Wonder at a Timeless Movie Palace,” a campaign to raise $300,000 to upgrade to cinema-quality audio. When completed, the Palace will offer an unbeatable movie-going experience, perfect for blockbusters and premieres, as well as quirky independent pictures and beloved classics. We will celebrate with an epic screening of 2001: A Space Odyssey, the last film shown at the United Palace in 1969. The goal is to officially unveil the theatre upgrade in early 2017.
Support Here: Indiegogo Spotlight: Reawaken Wonder @ The United Palace