Historic Structures

Loews Theater History, Louisville Kentucky

Date added: November 2, 2016 Categories: Kentucky Theater

From its opening on September 1, 1928 which featured the movie, "Excess Baggage," to the present Loew's has shown motion pictures, including one world premier, to audiences composed of stars and those from every conceivable walk of life. Prom an opening account at its opening comes this quote: "When one fancies the historian of some distant future reconstructing our day, it is not an idle fancy to suppose that he will lay particular stress on the motion picture palaces that are scattered across America and in doing so he will find something expressive of the character of these times we know as modern."

The original seating capacity was 3,273. it now seats 2,800. It was first name Loew's United Artists Theatre. Around 1950 it was renamed Loew's Palace Theatre. In 1994 it was renamed Louisville Palace Theatre.

The basic construction material of the theatre is concrete and steel. The 40' x 200' theatre has a four-story facade, a two-story foyer, an inner lobby and a large rear ell.

Ornate terra-cotta Churrigueresque frontispiece resembles a retablo with a prominent forward marquise tower at the center, instead of a traditional niche. Tile relief surface is rich and varied. Cartouches, acanthus leaves, urns and coats-of-arms enliven the facade and numerous finials mark the skyline.

Interior includes predominantly Churrigueresque styling of exterior. Surface texture has aggregation of ornament. Jewel-tone, polychrome finish is used on plaster walls. A plaster retablo at the inner entrance wall is surmounted by a cast of Donatello's "David". Side staircase in the lobby has a baldachino landing. Floors have geometric tile pattern; the ceilings are vaulted and coffered, with portrait heads, including the architect Eberson's. The auditorium ceiling has unusual atmospheric "sky, clouds and stars."