Time to head backstage and see what might be left. Does anyone need some rusty cables?
I tried finding my way up to the ceiling to check out any control contraptions left behind, but found my way barred by this beast of a door. You can see where someone took a pry bar to it if you look close.
I did find a very lost chair.
I made my way back down the rubble strewn stairs, disappointed, but I will be going back for another try. There were a few doors I didn’t take on this trip.
One of the trickier aspects of a series on the Palace is that when exploring you walk into the main theater first and then spend time rummaging about the rest of the building. My first reaction is to go look at THIS!
Then afterwards to follow up with what you say in yesterday’s post. But that wouldn’t have been fair, now would it?
I’m not too sure there is much to say here really. Other than I’m glad I braved the balcony for this photo.
There are buildings that can be rehabilitated, and buildings that are simply waiting their turn for the wrecking ball, the Palace is in line for the latter. The interior has been torn apart by scrappers, there is no trim left on the walls, just one sad heap of of small scrap left by the ticket taker’s booth. The wood is crumbling, the walls are collapsing without the benefit of help and I am frankly shocked the roof is still mostly intact. It isn’t in as bad of shape as St. John’s Hospital, but that is only because so far it has avoided being set on fire.
One thing that surprised me about this location was how much intact glass there is. Sure many planes of the lobby doors were broken, but many remain, and the great planes of glass separating the foyer from the theater proper are almost all intact.
The foyer itself is a study in urban decay. The stairs are more or less ramps of rubble, don’t be fooled by the suggestion of steps you see here, the traces of explorers before me. To access the balcony you must climb over a heap of rubble at the bottom and top of these stairs, as well as at the bottom of the stairs going to balcony from the landing.
Of course, to add to the fun all the piles of fallen materials were encased in ice, slick, and utterly unpredictable as to when it was going to give way beneath my feet. Still, I don’t regret going up to the balcony, the view was with it.
This Sunday last we decided that we would go poke around the old Palace Theater.
Imagine my surprise when I saw this sitting in the pit that was once the stage.
For 40 years this piano has sat here. Forgotten.
For years this marquee has looked just like this, only recently some mysterious force has changed it to still read Jackson Five Tonite” but with all the letters and not all topsy turvy. The Palace has been shut down since the early 1970s just like everything else in Gary.
When the “Miss USA” pageant came to Gary one of the things done to spiff up the neighborhood was install this mural across the front the of theater. While I like the idea, it is a little creepy as this is the only building with such a mural.
Odd random thing I’d like to, get a whole of artists together to install store front murals right down the main drag in Gary. There would be more artistic representations of people than actual people in the city of this were done. Also, it would be hella creepy.
The Jackson Five are indeed from Gary, though don’t ask me where the house was because that kind of information is beyond my scope of things to care about. They never played in the Palace Theater to my knowledge.