The United Palace originally opened as the Loew's 175th Street Theatre in 1930 as a vaudeville house and deluxe movie theatre. In 1969, when many of the city’s grand movie theaters were slated for demolition, the United Palace of Spiritual Arts (formerly known as United Christian Evangelistic Association) purchased the building, renaming it the United Palace, to house its congregation headed by Spiritual Director Frederick J. Eikerenkoetter II, known around the world as Reverend Ike.
In the 1980s the theatre began booking concerts and production shoots. With 3,400 seats, it is Manhattan's 4th largest theatre. The United Palace leadership founded United Palace of Cultural Arts (UPCA) in 2012 as an independent, nonprofit arts and cultural organization. Over its first 6 years UPCA helped reawaken the wonder of the United Palace by bringing back movies, staging dance and music performances, welcoming neighborhood artists to perform, and partnering with arts nonprofits to provide arts training to local youth.
In 2017, the Eikerenkoetter family completed its years-long process of bringing in a new management team to run UP and retired from all UP and UPCA operations. As these new leaders reviewed the organization’s mission and operations, they came to acknowledge that historically the United Palace itself is both a spiritual center and an arts center. The United Palace looks to expand its artistic programming and offerings, paving the way for UPCA to focus on its true mission.
UPCA continues to help support local artists and arts organizations at the United Palace as well as producing the annual Danza Highbridge Festival in the drained swimming pool at Highbridge Park.
View upcoming movies, dance, music, and other events at the United Palace here.
A world where people connect with their innate creativity and are inspired to realize their full potential as individuals and as communities.
UPCA uplifts, educates, and unites our Northern Manhattan community and beyond through cultural arts.
UPCA is supported, in part, by:
- Public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and Cultural Immigrant Initative in partnership with the City Council
- City Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez
- City Council Member Mark Levine
- The Horace Goldsmith Foundation
- New York-Presbyterian Hospital
- Columbia University Medical Center