Rochester (NY) RKO Palace – Excavation Uncovers a Glimpse of the Past

Awesome photos and commentary.  She was one of the most beautiful of the Rochester Movie Palaces – a true tragedy when she came down in 1965.


  1. Gary Parks

    Fascinating urban archaeology. In the Bay Area there exist at least two similar former theatre sites. The 1950 SERRA Theatre in Daly City (covered in Jack Tillmany’s and my book). A Hampton Inn was built on the site, utilizing the foundation, basement, and lower portions of some auditorium sidewalls in the new construction. A large portion of the terrazzo entryway floor exists right underneath the terra cotta floor of the hotel’s port cochiere. Also, I think if one were to excavate the parking lot that occupies the site of San Francisco’s GRANADA/PARAMOUNT, one would find the same thing. One concrete auditorium sidewall still stands. Also, one might find this under the parking lot which occupies the site of the Capitol Theatre in Salem, OR. The office/retail portion, and the stage house still stand (the latter a storage facility, with the proscenium bricked-up), but the rest of the theatre footprint is simply blacktop.

  2. The Rochester TV station is doing a story on this tonight at 5:30.

  3. brianhawks1

    I remember that Christmas tree! I saw “It’s A Wonderful Life” at the Palace – opening day matinee – Christmas week of 1946. Packed house! I was 12. Gorgeous 3000 seat theatre. Loew’s Rochester was as large as the Palace but, in appearance, couldn’t hold a candle to the Palace. The Paramount was large but rather tacky. And the RKO Temple was simply drab (and played junk).

    Rochester is fortunate in still having the Eastman Theatre.

  4. David

    Wow — amazing! How I wish that theater was still standing.

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