Reawaken Wonder at a Timeless Movie Palace

Join Lin-Manuel Miranda in upgrading the United Palace for cinema


Since 2013, UPCA has led crowdsourcing campaigns to purchase used projection equipment and a new screen, returning movies to the Palace for the first time since 1969. The city’s film community has responded enthusiastically, resulting in a string of screenings of beloved classics with pre-movie stage shows to honor the Palace’s past as a vaudeville house.

Broadway superstar Lin-Manuel Miranda helped launch Movies at the Palace by supporting initial fundraising campaigns and hosting the first series of “Classic New York Movies” that paired the likes of “West Side Story” with an introduction by Rita Moreno and “King Kong” with an introduction by John Landis.

Now Miranda has continued his support of Movies at the Palace by donating $100,000 for a new DCP projection system that will produce a Hollywood-quality image, replacing the Palace’s old equipment that only played BluRay disks. With Miranda’s generous donation, the Palace now has a world-class projector to match its world-class setting.

Miranda debuted the new projector on October 16 with a screening of the original “Mary Poppins." The classic 1964 Disney movie was selected because Miranda has temporarily relocated to London to begin shooting “Mary Poppins Returns” with Emily Blunt.

During the event we also launched "Reawaken Wonder at a Timeless Movie Palaceeawaken Wonder at a Timeless Movie Palace" – a fundraising campaign to revitalize the classic movie-going experience. The goal is to raise an additional $300,000 for new stage speakers and surround sound, completing the rebirth of the iconic movie theatre that originally opened in 1930 as the Loew’s 175th Street Theatre. Part of that is an Indiegogo crowdsourcing effort to begin raising money to keep the cinema sound system we brought in for "Mary Poppins." (Later steps of the campaign will purchase surround sound throughout the theatre, outfit the Palace Foyer to show small independent and foreign movies, and to hire a movie programmer to curate the 2017 season.)

“Reawaken Wonder at a Timeless Movie Palace” continues over the fall with a series of movies, culminating with the holiday classic “It’s A Wonderful Life” hosted by Donna Reed’s daughter Mary Owen on December 18. (See full schedule of movies below.)

When the audio upgrade is complete, UPCA will celebrate in early 2017 with a blockbuster presentation of “2001: A Space Odyssey,” the last film screened at United Palace in 1969 before the venue was purchased, and preserved, by Reverend Ike.

UPCA’s upcoming movie schedule: