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Movies return to Palace Theatre

The holidays are over, and Mother Nature isn't brightening the bleakness of winter with her usual blanket of white snow. Even the prospect of going to the movies again seems humdrum.

But, wait, there's a solution. The Palace Theatre in Albany has returned to its roots, and in addition to the spectacular touring performances it offers, it's showing classic movies on the big screen between now and June.

We opened as a movie house 75 years ago, Sean Allen, marketing and member services director at the Palace said. "We started showing movies again in Sept. 2005, when we received a donation from First Albany Capital to purchase movie equipment."

The last movie shown at the Palace was in 1969, with one notable exception. The 1987 premiere of the movie "Ironweed," based on Albany native William Kennedy's novel, took place at the Palace, with a bevy of Hollywood stars arriving to grace the Capitol city.

The first film shown was "Casablanca;" last year's movies were voted on by the general public, but this year, Allen said, the theater wanted to give the classics a try. Sometimes, that attempt is joined by the updated version of the movie, like this Sunday's showing of the 1962 and the 2004 version of "The Manchurian Candidate."

"Our 'Then and Now' series take place on some Sundays, beginning at 1 p.m.," Allen said. "We show the old movie at 1 p.m., and the new version right after that."

An April 15 showing of "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" followed by "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" will benefit the Ronald McDonald House.

Certified Angus Beef sponsors all of the movies shown at the Palace this year. In addition to the 'Then and Now' movies, there are Wednesday movies screened at 1 and 7 p.m. Next up in that series is Alfred Hitchcock's "Rear Window" on Wednesday, Jan. 10, followed by "Rebel Without a Cause" on Wednesday, Jan. 24.

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