The Palace Performing Arts Center project will include the following elements:
• Addition of a new 600-seat theatre: Located on Pearl Street adjacent to the Palace Theatre, the new space will host small shows for which the main theatre is too large and will more than triple the number of performances hosted by the Palace Performing Arts Center. Additional programming will include programs with partner organizations Park Playhouse and Albany Symphony, as well as dance and family-friendly events.
• Addition of a new video post-production center: As the only facility of its kind between New York City, Toronto and Montreal, the post-production center will serve as a professional-quality suite for digital video production companies to mix sound, edit video and create video effects. The space will also include large and small green screen studios with freight elevator access, as well as dedicated dressing rooms and wardrobe support, which will enable shooting video in a variety of techniques as well as audio recording.
• Expanded Palace Theatre stagehouse: The project will allow for the expansion of the original Palace Theatre stage and backstage, which will create a deeper and wider stagehouse capable of hosting an increased variety of shows and events and reducing loading and set-up time, while improving safety and reducing energy costs. New backstage support spaces will feature a much larger loading dock that meets current and future industry standards and modernized dressing rooms. New technology will also be installed throughout the stagehouse.
• Expanded Palace Theatre lobby and box office: The new lobby will provide a larger and more accessible space with increased amenities for patrons. The lobby will feature new concessions, dining and breakout areas, as well as restrooms, and will connect directly to a completely refurbished box office. Additionally, an elevator and new circulation paths will provide accessible wheelchair seating locations near the stage, at the orchestra level, and in the mezzanine.
• Performing arts education development: In partnership with Park Playhouse, the Palace Performing Arts Center will design, build and launch a multi-faceted arts program designed to be available, accessible and affordable to broad and diverse populations of the community, including underserved neighborhoods in and around the City of Albany.
“The expansion and renovation of the Palace will have a long and lasting impact on downtown Albany and the Capital Region. In addition to increasing the opportunities for residents to experience a wider variety of world-class shows and events, our new education program will make the arts more accessible to the next generation of performers and theatregoers,” said Palace Theatre Executive Director Holly Brown. “We are excited to announce these plans to the community and truly believe that our vision will enhance the quality of life of residents in Albany and the Capital Region.”
Michael Hallisey is Managing Editor of Spotlight Newspapers.