Join the NYFVC for a look at the United Palace of Cultural Arts, past and present!
The United Palace of Cultural Arts began its life as an opulent cinema palace, the
Loews 175th Street Theater. The New York Times declared the “style of
architecture…Indo-Chinese”, but when the doors opened on the Lamb and Rambusch
gem in February 22, 1930, filmgoers were greeted by the mural of an art deco goddess
atop the deep red carpet and gleaming gold columns. After a ceremonial parade led by
a thousand Boy Scouts, who raised the American flag over the building, the audience
was invited in to admire the décor and watch Norma Shearer in Their Own Desire.
When the Loews’ last screening of 2001: A Space Odyssey concluded in 1969, the
theater reemerged as the United Palace, led by televangelist Frederick J.
Eikerenkoetter II (Reverend Ike). The Eikerenkoetter family and the congregation raised
funds to restore the interiors to their original beauty and, in 2012, created the United
Palace of Cultural Arts, an independent nonprofit. The UPCA provides “cultural events
from local, national, and international artists; arts education and mentoring for young
people; and space as a community resource.” After a 44 year intermission, cinema has
returned to the United Palace in 2013, with a screening of Casablanca.
Tour begins at 4pm. Arrive early - around 3:15 - for a special opportunity to see a
short youth orchestra rehearsal with members of the New York Philharmonic.
... And stay after for refreshments and socializing at a neighborhood spot!