On This Date In Twin Cities History - November 27, 1916
On this date in 1916, the New Palace Theatre in St. Paul opens. The theater was built on the site of the old St. Paul Public Library which had burned down a couple years earlier. Designed by architects Henry Orth and Charles Buechner, the New Palace was built as a vaudeville theater that could seat up to 3,000 people. As part of the Finkelstein & Ruben circuit, thousands of performers graced the New Palace stage in its early days, including Charlie Chaplin, the Marx Brothers, and George Burns. In the 1940’s the building was transformed into a popular movie theater known as the RKO Orpheum. The theater was closed in 1977 but was used for a short time in 1984 to host Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion. On March 10, 2017, the newly renovated Palace Theater re-opened to sold-out crowds as a live music venue.
RKO Orpheum Theater circa 1952 (MHS)