Little Palace Theatre
271-273 S. Main Street,
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Previous Names: Palace Theatre
There were three Palace Theatres that opened in Akron during the silent era of movie theatres. The second Palace Theatre was launched by Allen T. Simmons at 271-273 S. Main Street in downtown Akron on February 18, 1914 with movies and its “great mirror screen". Simmons also ran the Dome Theatre in Akron and had worked at the venue since 1907 when it was the Rubber City Theatre. Simmons would last 30 years in Akron movie theatres until selling his final venue, the Allen Theatre, to Warner Bros. in 1935.
The first Palace Theatre was located at 151 E. Kenmore Street lasting from 1913 to 1920. The most famous Palace Theatre was the Keith-Albee Palace two blocks away that opened on April 26, 1926. Simmons’ Palace Theatre stuck with their name and found success with western films. They even had personal appearances including Art Mix and his Arabian horse, Pal, on November 27, 1927. A locally made film, “The Story of Acme Food Stores", played there in 1929.
Simmons’ Palace Theatre was later equipped for sound and undoubtedly was run for African American audiences as there is only one advertisement run between 1930 and 1938 despite active operation. In 1938, the venue was going under the name, the Little Palace Theatre and featured African American starring films. Akron moved to a single Palace Theatre when this venue became a meeting hall in the 1940’s. The building was retrofitted for retail by 1955 for Lion Tailors. The building still is standing despite losing its neighbor to the right to demolition and most recently was a restaurant in the 2020’s at the renamed 271-273 S. King James Way.
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