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Century-Old Downtown Palace Restored, Doesn't Look A Day Over 30

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Old-timey Palace by Floyd B. Bariscale via flickr. Restored Palace Theater via Luis Sinco/L.A. Times

Ah, the beleaguered single-screen theater of yore! Theater loyalists were rewarded for all their old-timey giddiness Sunday with a 100th-anniversary relaunch, featuring a full restoration, of the Palace Theatre, reports the Los Angeles Times. Opened in June 1911 as the Orpheum, the G. Albert Lansburgh-designed space has hosted performers ranging from the Marx Brothers to Harry Houdini. In 1926, live shows moved to the Orpheum down the street (that we currently know and love), at which point the theater was renamed the Palace, and began showing silent movies. The $1 million restoration involved no little feats — digging through seven layers of paint to find the original wallpaper, and then replicating it, for one thing. The owners, the Delijani family, paid for the centennial restoration; the Delijani's also own the Los Angeles, State, and Tower theaters Downtown. The Times notes one big change: the formerly "Negroes only" third-level balcony is becoming VIP seating in the theater's new incarnation, which should kick off regular programming on July 28. A little more on the Palace, which according to restorers, has great bones: "The theater sported a Renaissance revival facade with decorative panels depicting the muses of vaudeville -- music, song, dance and drama -- created by Spanish sculptor Domingo Mora. Its interior featured a French look, with garland-draped columns, hand-painted murals on the ceiling and a row of electric lights that outlined the balcony and called attention to its 1911 modernity." -Andy J. Wang
· Palace Theatre marks 100th anniversary with $1-million restoration [LAT]
· After 26 Years, Downtown's Belasco Theater Re-Opening [Curbed LA]