The United Palace Theater was a movie palace was designed by Thomas W. Lamb as one of the Loew’s Wonder Theatres for vaudeville and movies. It opened in 1930. The building style was described by the New York Times‘ David W. Dunlap as Byzantine-Romanesque-Indo-Hindu-Sino-Moorish-Persian-Eclectic-Rococo-Deco. So, you’d like everything on that sandwich?
The fifth and last of the Loew’s Wonder Theatres to be built in NYC, Loew’s 175th Street Theatre is considered to be the most elaborate of architect Thomas Lamb’s endeavors. The façade is decorated in a geometric, stylized version of the decorative Mayan style.
In 1969, as most of the great movie palaces were closing down, the 175th St. Theater was saved from demolition by the Rev. Frederick J. Eikerenkoetter II, known as Reverend Ike.
I’m so glad that I took photos of the façade, because that led me to find photos of the interior. Holy moly! The historic theater has been exquisitely restored by the church and is now used for concerts. The walls of the auditorium are embellished with Indo-Chinese decoration and the foyer features a palatial staircase.
Thomas W. Lamb was born in Dundee, Scotland and came to the US at the age of 12. He studied architecture at the Cooper Union, and then opened his own firm, which became known for grand theaters and cinemas. He died in 1942 in NYC at 71 years old.