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Palace Theater, Lorain

#123 of 189 in Fun & Games in Ohio
The Lorain Palace Theater was founded in 1928. Today, The Lorain Palace Theater is a multi-purpose civic center intended to encourage a balance of uses to meet the artistic, social and cultural needs of the city of Lorain and surrounding communities. Offering movies, live theater, education, and concerts, the Lorain Palace Theater has something for everyone. Combining turn-of-the-century charm with a state of the art sound and movie projection system, the Palace offers a rich and exciting environment for all ages. The Palace Theater is a 501( c ) ( 3 ) nonprofit organization.

In the town of Lorain, Ohio, located just west of Cleveland, the 1,720-seat Lorain Palace Theatre first opened its doors in 1928. It was the first motion picture theater in Ohio to show a talking motion picture. The opening night film, and first talky played in Ohio was a pre-release of Paramount’s "Something Always Happens" starring Neil Hamilton and Esther Ralston. Today it serves as a community Civic Center, movie theatre, meeting place and entertainment facility. The crystal chandelier, Wurlitzer pipe organ (one of only four remaining in theaters across Ohio), and two spacious loges are just some of the features which made this building worthy of being preserved.


The theatre was built as part of an initiative to rebuild downtown Lorain, following a devastating tornado destroyed most of the 44,000 inhabitant town's urban center. It still has its original Wurlitzer theatre organ and was popular well into the 1960s. When it was completed, it was the largest one floor motion picture theare in Ohio. Popularity of the theatre diminished following the construction of the nearby mall in the mid-1960s. Several other theatres and shops in the area closed their doors at this time.


Restoration of the theatre began in 1977 and so far the non-profit organization operating the location has raised an excess of $6 million towards the cost of its restoration and renovation. Twenty-five thousand dollars was tendered as a down payment toward the purchase of the $100,000 building. A capital funds campaign was launched and in May of 1977 the Palace Theater building was purchased and a grand opening was held. The Palace had been using the same carbon arc projectors since 1935. The light on the screen was created when 80 amps of electricity jumped between two large pencil-sized carbon rods. The carbon arc generated enough illumination to project the movie onto the screen 180 feet away. Recently the theatre moved those projectors into the lobby and installed a new theatre system including a new platter projector, a digital projector, and a 16-speaker theatre surround sound system.
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Palace Theater Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
21 reviews
  • This place is a gem in Lorain County. It just doesn't get the attention it deserves. Its much better than going to downtown cleveland for plays and concerts. I wish more people would recognize how gre...  more »
  • Movies, comedy acts, musicals... you name it, they can do it. The "Palace" theatre has been lovingly renovated to pristine shape of yesteryear. Plush seating and excellent audio system allows you not ...  more »

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