Louisville Palace Theater–A Photographic Tour

Louisiville Palace Theatre
625 South Fourth Street
Louisville, Kentucky

The facade of the Louisville Palace Theater, 2006. Opened in 1928 as the Loew’s Theater, this grand movie house was designed by noted movie palace designer, John Eberson (1875-1964). Photo by StevietheMan and courtesy of Wikipedia.
Wall detail in the outer lobby. Eberson utilized the Spanish Baroque style for the theater. He often used “exotic” architectural styles for his theaters. This magnificent edifice The theater remained open as a movie house until 1978 when it closed as a movie house. It was purchased by investors and opened as a nightclub. The club closed in the mid-1980s and the theater was purchased in 1991 by a company with the intention of restoring it and creating a venue for live performance. Photograph by Jack Boucher, 1979 for the Historic
American Buildings Survey (HABS), courtesy of the Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.
The house and stage of the Louisville Palace. The theater is designed to ensconce the audience in a Spanish Baroque courtyard. The ceiling is an atmospheric ceiling with clouds. In the 1960s, this balcony was enclosed as a second theater, but this alternation was removed during the restoration in the 1990s. It’s not hard to imagine spirits spending their afterlife in such a magnificent edifice. A handful of spirits have been reported here including a man in 1930s clothing that has been seen in this balcony. When approached by ushers, the man disappears. Photo taken after 1933, courtesy of the Historic American Building Survey (HABS) collection, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.
The lobby with the Grand Staircase leading to the mezzanine lobby. A staff member has reported seeing a woman in a 1940s era outfit climbing the stairs. When the spirit stops and turns, she has no face. Photo taken after 1933, courtesy of the Historic American Building Survey (HABS) collection, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.
The upper lobby with its magnificent coffered ceiling. The sculptural details on the ceiling feature the heads of 138 “immortals” including John Eberson, the theater’s architect, Socrates and Beethoven. Photo taken after 1933, courtesy of the Historic American Building Survey (HABS) collection, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.
The entrance to the Ladies Parlor. Theater employees have heard a young child’s giggling coming from the restroom just beyond this door. One staff member reports seeing a pair of child’s feet in a stall and heard stall doors slamming. Photo taken after 1933, courtesy of the Historic American Building Survey (HABS) collection, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.
The house from the stage. The projector room towards the back, now used as the lighting booth is where the spirit of a former projectionist may roam. Legend speaks of a loyal projectionist who suffered a major heart attack while on the job. As he was being carried from the booth on a door, he fell off and down the stairs, dying instantly. Staff have encountered his spirit in his old booth. Photo taken after 1933, courtesy of the Historic American Building Survey (HABS) collection, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.
The mezzanine promenade. During the restoration, the spirit of a man in 1940s era clothing appeared throughout the theater. Workers had tools moved and would hear voices. One of the workers who fell asleep on scaffolding while painting a ceiling was awakened by a voice moments before he nearly rolled off. This spirit continues to be seen throughout the theater and has been identified as Ferdinand Frisch, a theater employee who died in the building in 1965. Photo taken after 1933, courtesy of the Historic American Building Survey (HABS) collection, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.

Sources

  • Historic American Buildings Survey. Loew’s Theatre, 625 South Fourth Street, Louisville, Jefferson, KY. HABS Collection, Library of Congress, 1979.
  • Gravatte, Jay. The Palace Theatre. Louisville Ghost Hunters Society. Accessed 2 October 2010.
  • John Eberson. Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Accessed 2 October 2010.
  • Louisville Palace. History. Accessed 2 October 2010.
  • The Louisville Palace. Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Accessed 2 October 2010.
  • Parker, Robert W. Haunted Louisville: History and Hauntings from the Derby City. Decatur, IL, Whitechapel Press, 2007.
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