[Morris Center] The Palace Theatre was built in 1921 as a vaudeville house and part of the Orpheum theatre chain. In its early days, vaudeville shows ran continuously with a new act every ten minutes. Patrons could obtain admission for just 22 cents and enjoy the day’s new acts as they made their way on and off the stage.
At its inception, the interiors of the theater were glorious. Old roses, blues and creams predominated and not one singular architectural style could define the whole of the structure. The architect, J.S. Aroner from Chicago envisioned the theater as a little palace; a place in which theatergoers could feel as if they were royalty. A trip through the theater was intended to make a patron feel as if she had just made a trip through Europe. With many different architectural styles including Baroque, Spanish Renaissance, Greco-Roman and even a little Art Deco, patrons entered intricately detailed and carefully planned interiors when they entered “The Palace.”
The cocktail hour was held in the Grand Lobby. My brothers and I got to play doormen in our tuxes and white gloves. You went to the box office to get your "ticket" and then mingled with the other "patrons" at the bar. At the appropriate time, the chimes were rung, my brother and I opened the main doors to the theater, and the "audience" was seated.
|Grand Lobby (Photo: MorrisCenter.org)|
|Arch and Stage (Photo: MorrisCenter.org)|