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The last of the four principal PlayhouseSquare theaters (and the most expensive to build at $3,500,000), the Palace Theatre, renamed Connor Palace in 2014, opened Nov. 6, 1922 as the flagship of B.F. Keith’s vaudeville chain.
The sign atop its building advertising the Connor Palace was “the world’s largest electrical sign” circa 1921.
The $3.5 million Palace Theatre Cleveland was designed in the French Renaissance style and boasted over 150 crystal chandeliers, a collection of paintings worth $1 million in its lobby area, and the world's largest carpet woven in one piece.
Over the years, The Palace Theatre schedule drew many big-name entertainers, including Bing Crosby, Houdini and Frank Sinatra before the venue made the transition over to movies.
1978 saw the addition of The Palace Theatre Cleveland to the National Register of Historic Places. After closing down in 1969, only to partially reopen in '73, The Connor Palace closed once more in order to undergo a massive, $36.4 million renovation project. It reopened in 1988.
The Connor Palace’s elegant lobby was highlighted by a million-dollar art collection and another “world’s largest”…the largest woven-in-one-piece carpet. The venue showcased the likes of Fanny Brice, Bing Crosby, Houdini, Bob Hope, Frank Sinatra and The Three Stooges before changing over to films. In its current role as a “legit theater,” the Connor Palace seats 2,800.
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