Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Lifestyle

March 29, 2010

Movie magic at the Palace

LOCKPORT — In recent months, it’s often been a movie night at the Palace Theatre.

Earlier this month, “Alice in Wonderland” completed a three-weekend run at the Palace. Late last year, “The Twilight Saga: New Moon” opened with a midnight showing. Within the last four months, “The Princess and the Frog,” “The Blind Side,” “Avatar,” “Sherlock Holmes,” “The Tooth Fairy” and “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel” have also completed runs at the theater.

The Palace Theatre has always been a movie house. The theater’s first event upon opening in 1925 — as denoted by a plaque in the lobby — was a showing of Cecil B. DeMille’s “The Ten Commandments.”

“It started off as a movie house,” says Chris Parada, the theater’s artistic director. “In the 1920s there were three movie theaters in Lockport, including the Palace. Lucille Ball had a couple movie premieres here.”

Things are much different in the era of multiplexes, but the Palace has continued to bring movies to the city of Lockport. And lately, things have really been ramping up.

“I’ve been here seven years and we’ve never gotten a first-run movie,” Parada says. “Now we just got ‘New Moon’ and ‘Alice.’ ”

Most of the movies shown at the Palace have already been released in bigger theaters by the time they reach Lockport. But when the Palace had the opportunity to get “New Moon” and “Alice,” Parada jumped on it.

“The movie schedule is dictated by live events,” Parada says. “It’s sporadic. And we don’t get to just pick ... we have to request movies.”

It doesn’t help that with new releases, a theater must give between 70 and 90 percent of its ticket costs to studios, Parada says. It’s a challenge when all Palace movie tickets are $5.

“That’s why Regal is really in the popcorn business,” he says.

Not so at the Palace, where all concessions remain reasonably priced. But the lagging economy may have Hollywood studios looking for other options, and that means smaller theaters. Parada puts it simply: “The movie companies want money.”

Most movies have been profitable for the Palace, but barely. While the more recent films have done fairly well — “Alice” and “New Moon” drew hundreds of patrons — there are still movies that show to a nearly empty theater.

“There’s a huge misconception that the theater has a lot of money,” Parada says. “Out of everybody who says, ‘I want to support,’ and they don’t show up ...”

Parada’s getting a bit worked up, and he knows it. With a laugh, he says, “I’m not bitter.”

His frustration comes from wanting the theater to succeed. The theater used to run classic movie nights, but it came to an end because nobody showed up. A shame, Parada says, because the Palace is a great place to watch a movie.

The reasons are obvious. The tickets are cheap, as are the concessions. Find another movie theater that sells any food or drinks for $1. While the film quality is “identical to other theaters,” the movie screen is bigger. Add the enormous amount of legroom, air-conditioning in the summer and heating in the winter, and the aesthetics of watching a film in a classic theater, and a movie night at the Palace Theatre seems like a no-brainer.

The Palace will continue to book movies when the schedule permits. April is fairly booked, so movies will likely return in May, Parada says. He knows the theater will be showing “Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief” — the rights have been secured — but he doesn’t yet know when.

Which leads to another point — don’t be afraid to call the theater, whether it’s to make suggestions of films you want to see, or to ask what movies will be coming soon. But Parada says once you come to see a movie at the theater, you’ll be back.

“I don’t see how you can go wrong,” he says.

1
Text Only
Lifestyle
  • venustransit.jpg As Venus crosses the sun, a rare treat for skywatchers

    Today, Venus will cross the sun for just the sixth time since 1639. It won't do so again until 2117, making this the last transit of Venus for nearly everyone alive today.

    June 5, 2012 1 Photo

  • Newer breast cancer drugs no better than less expensive chemotherapy

    Celgene's Abraxane and Bristol- Myers Squibb's Ixempra breast-cancer drugs worked no better at delaying tumor growth than a less-expensive chemotherapy that's been the backbone of treatment for 20 years.

    June 5, 2012

  • Moving in with your parents? Smart career move

    It's true that many 20-somethings move back to their childhood homes and let their parents subsidize them in ways that would have been unthinkable 50 years ago. But are they really entitled narcissists exploiting their parents' goodwill?

    June 5, 2012

  • check money.jpg Whites earn more than three-fourths of nation's income

    Whites took home a disproportionate share of income through the recession and slow recovery, but minorities are slowly starting to catch up, a new analysis of census data shows.

    June 2, 2012 1 Photo

  • bread-wheat.jpg 7 foods you shouldn't fear

    Are you shying away from bad foods that are actually good for you? With all the hoopla about healthful eating, it's hard to separate fact from fiction. 

    June 2, 2012 1 Photo

  • DVR-TV-Remote.jpg Summer TV: Olympics, reality shows and Canadian cop dramas

    The 2011-12 TV season officially ended last week, leaving the broadcast schedule simultaneously overfamiliar and unrecognizable.

    June 1, 2012 1 Photo

  • 120517travelagencies2jpg.jpg Cutting the travel time

    For the most part, there is a lot of planning that goes into traveling. Some like to handle the details on their own, making arrangements on the phone or using travel websites to book hotels, planes, vehicles and so on.

    But lately, working with a travel agent is becoming more popular.

    May 21, 2012 1 Photo

  • iPhone fitness.jpg March motivation

    Making the commitment to stay fit during these cold Western New York months can sometimes be easier said than done. The resolution to eat healthier, or to ditch the nicotine fades as we settle back into our evermore hectic schedules. But with spring looming just over the horizon, maybe you’re in need of a technologic solution to get back on track, or hopefully take your fitness goals to the next level.

    March 11, 2012 1 Photo

  • bieber.jpg Justin Bieber makes dream come true for child with brain tumor

    In August, Avalanna Routh "married" teen singing sensation Justin Bieber. This week, she finally got to meet her husband.

    February 17, 2012 1 Photo

  • girl-trapped.jpg Viral video: Toddler rescued from inside arcade game

    A 2-year-old girl’s curiosity got her stuck inside an arcade game, where she had to be rescued by firefighters.

    February 17, 2012 1 Photo

Featured Ads
Community Events
Photos


Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Front page
AP Video
Raw: More Than 100,000 Gather for Easter Sunday Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
Seasonal Content
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP Video
Raw: More Than 100,000 Gather for Easter Sunday Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
Seasonal Content
Helium debate
Helium
Section Teases

Seasonal Content
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.