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Palace Theatre: backstage

630 S. Broadway Los Angeles CA 90014 | map |

The Palace Theatre pages: history | vintage exterior views | recent exterior views | ticket lobby | lobbies and lounges | vintage auditorium views | recent auditorium views | booth | backstage | basement support areas | office building


A look across from stage left. Thanks to Mike Hume for his 2017 photo. Visit the Palace Theatre page on his Historic Theatre Photography site for more of his great work. The occasion was a tour that was part of a League of Historic American Theatres convention.



A wide angle look into the house from upstage left. Thanks to Wendell Benedetti for his photo of the LHAT tour that appeared on the LAHTF Facebook page.



The proscenium striplight stage right. That's the smoke pocket for the asbestos curtain to the right of the strip. Photo: Mike Hume - Historic Theatre Photography - 2017



The proscenium striplight stage left. Photo: Mike Hume - Historic Theatre Photography - 2017



The trap downstage center. Photo: Mike Hume - Historic Theatre Photography - 2017



Offstage right looking toward the dressing rooms. Photo: Hunter Kerhart - 2014. Keep up with Hunter's latest explorations: on Facebook | HunterKerhart.com | on Flickr


Proscenium width: 40'

Proscenium height: 35' at center

Stage depth: 31'6" from smoke pocket to back wall

Stage wall to wall: 86'

Loading:
Upstage left into the alley

Wingspace SL: 31' from proscenium to side wall

Wingspace SR: 15' from proscenium to side wall

Orchestra pit: floored over

Rigging: It's mostly hemp with a few wire guide sets for electrics, screen, etc. The original hemp sets were 3 line sets. There are flyfloors at +24' on both sides of the stage -- the main flyfloor is stage right.

Grid height: 68'

Traps: One downstage center and one 6'x5' stage left. 

Dressing rooms: 10 in the basement, 2 on second level up SR, 3 on 3rd level SR

Wardrobe, catering: The trap room is usable for a variety of functions.

House light control: DSR or in the booth -- a bank of SCR dimmers is in the basement.

Road power: 600A single phase 120/240 DSR. 240V three phase delta is available by cabling from other basement locations.

Much of the tech info comes from the Palace Theatre's superb website, www.palacedowntown.com. See the venue specs page as well as the nicely done venue comparison page which also includes the Los Angeles and the Tower. In addition, there's a downloadable 15 page tech packet which has plans of the stage and the seating areas.



The Palace, called the Orpheum at the time, got covered in "Vaudeville Trails Thru the West," also known as Herbert Lloyd's Vaudeville Guide. This data is on page 115 of the 1919 edition. Thanks to Mike Hume for finding it on Internet Archive. 


The board:


The 1911 vintage switchboard stage right. Photo: Hunter Kerhart - 2014



Another switchboard view. The upper horizontal axle carries the dimmer handles. There used to be a row above, now removed. The house light circuits were transferred to motorized dimmers decades ago and are now on some old SCR dimmers in the basement. All the lower items are live-front knife switches that controlled the dimmer circuits as well as non-dim items such as work lights and floor pockets. Thanks to Robert Rosenblum for this 2013 photo that he posted on the Los Angeles Theatres Facebook page.



There are now no live circuits on the front of the board. But when there still were, it was caged. Photo: Bill Counter - 2010



A look through the cage at switches for houselight circuits. Thanks to Will Campbell for his 2009 photo on Flickr. It's one of 65 photos in his 65 photo album A Morning at the Palace Theater.



A stage section of the then-caged board. Photo: Will Campbell - 2009



Fuses and bus bars. Photo: Will Campbell - 2009. Thanks, Will!



The board in 1911. It's one of 21 photos of the theatre that appeared with the article "The New Orpheum Theater Building, Los Angeles" in the September 1911 issue of Architect and Engineer. Following the main article, G. Albert Lansburgh adds "An Architect's Tribute to Domingo Mora," the artist who did the sculptural work on the project. Thanks to Mike Hume for finding the articles. The issue can be viewed on Internet Archive


Views from stage right:


A peek into the house from offstage right. Thanks to the Palace Theatre for the photo. It's one that appeared on the Palace Facebook page in 2014.



The vista from upstage right. Thanks to Broadway Theatre Group for the photo by August Bradley. It's one of many great views on their Palace Theatre website. See the gallery page to start your tour. This photo appears in the stage album.



A c.2009 Gary Leonard photo looking across to stage left. Thanks to Broadway Theatre Group for the photo, one appearing in their photo gallery's stage album.



Looking toward the loading door and the stage left flyfloor. That diagonal line is an exit stair from the 2nd balcony. Photo: Bill Counter - 2010


The stage right dressing rooms and flyfloor:


A c.2009 Gary Leonard photo of the dressing room stack. Thanks to Broadway Theatre Group for the photo, one appearing in their Palace Theatre website photo gallery's stage album.



A look a bit farther downstage. It's a c.2009 Gary Leonard photo from Palace Theatre photo gallery's stage album.


A look upward toward the flyfloor. Photo: Mike Hume - Historic Theatre Photography - 2017



Dressing rooms on levels two and three, the flyfloor above. Photo: Hunter Kerhart - 2014



Looking up from stage level. Photo: Bill Counter - 2010



A stair detail stage right. Photo: Michelle Gerdes - 2011



A 100+ year old dressing room on the 2nd floor. Photo: Bill Counter - 2014



Another dressing room view. Photo: Bill Counter - 2014 



Across the stage from the 3rd floor dressing room level. We're looking at the back of the movie screen. Note the JBL speakers rolled up against the back wall. Photo: Bill Counter - 2014



On the flyfloor stage right -- looking downstage. Note the attic access door to the right of center. Photo: Bill Counter - 2014



A novel use for a pinrail -- light bulb storage. Thanks to Sandi Hemmerlein for her photo. Don't miss her Avoiding Regret photo essay about the July 2012 LAHTF tour to see the rest of her set of 28 photos: "Downtown LA's Palace Theatre, Restored (But Not Completely)."



Another view looking upstage on the flyfloor stage right. Photo: Michelle Gerdes - 2011



Another pinrail view. Photo: Michelle Gerdes - 2011



Old sheaves and other rigging gear. Photo: Michelle Gerdes - 2011



A retired sheave. Photo: Michelle Gerdes - 2011



A stage view from the flyfloor. Thanks to Albert Domasin for his photo taken at a 2012 LAHTF tour of the building. It's one of 63 photos in his LAHTF Tour of the Palace set on Flickr.



A look to stage left. Photo: Albert Domasin - Flickr - 2012



Another look across from the stage right flyfloor. Photo: Sandi Hemmerlein - Avoiding Regret - 2012. Thanks, Sandi!



Peering across across toward the stage left flyfloor. Photo: Bill Counter - 2014



The view downstage right from the flyfloor. Photo: Bill Counter - 2014


More views from stage left:


A c.2009 view across to stage right. It's a Gary Leonard photo in the Palace Theatre photo gallery's stage album.


 
A view across the stage and into the auditorium. Photo: Wendell Benedetti - LAHTF Facebook page - 2012



The house from stage left. Thanks to Broadway Theatre Group for the photo by August Bradley. It appears on the Palace Theatre website in their photo gallery's stage album.



Another look across. Photo: Mike Hume - Historic Theatre Photography - 2017


Out in the house:


A nice peek backstage from Martin, the photographer from Stuttgart, Germany who curates the site You-Are-Here. Take a tour down his Broadway Corridor page of this site for lots of other terrific photos.



The bare stage from the auditorium. Thanks to Broadway Theatre Group for the August Bradley photo, one that appears in the Palace Theatre website photo gallery's stage album.


In the basement:


The stairs down on the stage right side. Note that "door to nowhere." It was originally an entrance from the passage on the north side of the theatre but was abandoned when the stairs were reconfigured -- originally it was a spiral staircase. Photo: Bill Counter - 2014



The basement animal room upstage right. Note the drain in the floor. Photo: Bill Counter - 2014



The trap room from stage right. The orchestra pit and auditorium ate off to the right. The dressing rooms we see at the left are along the building's back wall. Note the lift at the end of the space.  Photo: Michelle Gerdes - 2011. See her Palace Theatre set on Flickr for many more views.



A c.2009 photo looking toward stage left. That midget door halfway along the right wall goes into the room under the pit. Thanks to Broadway Theatre Group for the Gary Leonard photo. It appears in the Palace Theatre website's green room and dressing room album.



A basement dressing room. Photo: Bill Counter - 2014



Downstage right, looking into the electric room. Photo: Michelle Gerdes - 2011



The electric room. The rack of SCR dimmers at the end are for the house lights, replacing a set of motorized auto transformers. Photo: Bill Counter - 2014



Switchgear on the north wall of the electric room. This area is on the auditorium side of the proscenium wall, under the proscenium box area. The large enclosure allowed transfer of the houselight feeder to a DC service in case of the AC service failure. Photo: Bill Counter - 2014



An earlier view of the electrical gear. To the left are motorized house light dimmers, now replaced. Photo: Bill Counter - 2010



Another view of some of the electrical service gear. Photo: Bill Counter - 2010



In the trap room: the doorway to the space under the orchestra pit. Note the interesting firedoor with the second section that would drop down when the door closed. Photo: Michelle Gerdes - 2011



The musicians' assembly room under the pit. We're looking south -- the curved wall at the right mimics that of the front of the pit above us, now covered. Photo: Michelle Gerdes - 2011



Looking north in the musicians' assembly room under the pit. Through the doorway we see racks for storage of sheet music. The ladder gets you up into the pit itself -- now covered over. The doorway at right leads back out into the trap room. The toilet? No, that's not the musicians' toilet facilities. It's just sitting there after removal from another room. Photo: Bill Counter - 2014



The racks for sheet music. Photo: Bill Counter - 2014



The trap room from downstage left. The orchestra pit and auditorium are to the left. Dressing rooms are to the right. Photo: Bill Counter - 2010



The trap room from upstage left. The entrance to the musician's room under the pit is hidden behind the lift in the foreground. Photo: Bill Counter - 2014



The lift at the stage left end of the trap room gets its closeup. Hillsman Wright, of the Los Angeles Historic Theatre Foundation, notes: "This lift was installed by Metropolitan Theatres. Their projector repair shop was in the Palace basement. The lift was one of the original sidewalk lifts moved from the front basement. The arch on top lifted the sidewalk panels as it rose. You'll still  see a bunch of these steel panels on sidewalks around Bway." Photo: Michelle Gerdes - 2011



A detail of some hollow tile construction on an interior wall. Photo: Michelle Gerdes - 2011. Thanks for all the photos, Michelle!

The Palace Theatre pages: history | vintage exterior views | recent exterior views | ticket lobby | lobbies and lounges | vintage auditorium views | recent auditorium views | booth | back to top - backstage | basement support areas | office building

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