United Palace originally opened as the Loew's 175th Street Theatre in 1930 as a vaudeville house and deluxe movie theatre. It was purchased, and preserved, by Rev. Ike in 1969 for his congregation. Upon Rev. Ike's passing in 2009 his son Xavier, a life-long musician, assumed control of the Palace. In 2012 Xavier fulfilled his dream of creating an arts and cultural center by incorporating the United Palace of Cultural Arts (UPCA) as an independent, 501(c)(3) nonprofit. With 3,400 seats it is Manhattan's 4th largest theatre.
UPCA has 4 main areas of programming:
A world where people connect with their innate creativity and are inspired to realize their full potential as individuals and as communities.
- cultural events from local, national, and international artists
- arts education and mentoring for young people
- space as a community resource
In 2016, our third full year of programming, UPCA:
Presented or produced 31 events that attracted a total of 15,553 guests, including:
- 9 movies, with pre-show entertainment
- 5 dance performances, including 2 performances of "The Hip Hop Nutcracker"
- 9 performances as part of "The Lobby Series"
- 6 events featuring our student performing artists
And served over 800 children from toddlers to teens through community art programs provided by us and our partner organizations.