Some historical structures can have a strange effect on people. They can metaphorically transport people to another era when they see them. Whether it’s their design or features, something about them just puts people in mind of the time when it was built.
That effect is in full power at the Palace Theater in Gary, Indiana. It’s difficult to even look at the theater without feeling a sense of amazement. This beautiful theater played host to countless actors and some performances that defined theater as we know it today. Take a tour through this theater with the pictures below, and imagine what it would’ve looked like in its prime.
The Palace Theater originally opened in 1925, and it was a popular destination for stage shows and vaudeville acts. From the appearance of hallways like this, it appears no expense was spared in making it a lavish establishment.
Like much of the US has experienced at one time or another, the town of Gary fell upon tough times in the 1960s when the local steel plant started struggling. Jobs were lost and the local economy suffered.
In 1972, the Palace Theater came to a final close. The doors would no longer open to welcome people in to see the latest shows and acts. For the most part, the theater has remained relatively untouched since the day it featured its last performance.
Besides experiencing the decay of time, most of the interior items were left intact. The orchestra pit still has all of the vintage instruments that were used for numerous shows.
Gary, Indiana was the birthplace of the uber famous Michael Jackson. After Jackson died, the marque of the theater was updated to read “Jackson Five Forever” and “Jackson Five Tonight” even though the Jackson Five actually never even played at the Palace Theater.
Unfortunately, the letters from the signs have been carried away with the wind through the years. The exterior looked it’s best in recent years when the 2002 Miss USA pageant came to Gary. The entire exterior was covered in plywood to give the impression of a nicer interior.
You might have seen the Palace Theater on the History Channel when it was featured in an episode of “Life After People.” It was used as an example to show what could happen if urban centers were abandoned after the extinction of humans.
Many of the residents of Gary are petitioning to keep the Palace Theater around in recognition of its place in the history books of the town. While it’s easy to agree with the idea of the keeping the Palace Theater around, it would be especially incredible if the theater could be revitalized and used for the amazing theater space it is!
Do you think the theater should be revitalized, left as it is, or torn down? Share your opinion in the comments below!