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Palace Theatre's new look is a scene from history, restoration uncovers original 1925 artwork

"The walls are telling us a story"
Posted: 6:23 PM, Sep 10, 2019
Updated: 2019-09-10 18:23:08-04
Palace Theatre's new look is a scene from history, restoration uncovers original 1925 artwork

LOCKPORT, N.Y. (WKBW) — A theatre is a place for storytelling, but at Lockport's Palace Theatre it's the walls doing the talking.

"The walls are telling us a story, what this was in 1925," said Chris Parada, the Executive Director of Palace Theatre.

Swiatek Studios is uncovering the original artwork that once adorned the walls, when the theatre first opened 94 years ago.

"What we're trying to do is go through those layers, find what was original, reinterpret it, and put it back to the way it was," said Brett Swiatek, the Owner and President of Swiatek Studios.

It's part of the theater's approximately $3 million Act II Restoration project, which has received partial funding from the state. Over the years the theatre has been repainted to change with the times. Now Swiatek studios is physically erasing history by wiping off coats of paint. In an effort to revive the theatre's original roots, and restore the details.

Parada said a new lobby and concession stand is also part of the project.

"You get a building that is this old, built in 1925, and you have to start doing some renovations," he said. "Safety things, you have to do the roof work, you need more comfortable seats, and you need to just give credit to this building and the history that it has and the integrity of it."

The theatre re-opens for shows in November.

The curtain on this revival isn't closing anytime soon. Phase three of the project begins next summer.