Next Friday, Dec. 16, the Palace Theatre will open its doors to the public for what the City of St. Paul is calling a “sneak peek” at the downtown venue. Mayor Chris Coleman will deliver some remarks and perform a ceremonial unlocking of the doors at 11:30 a.m. Visitors will then “be greeted with hot cocoa and live music by a surprise guest as they enter the theatre,” according to a press release. The open house will continue until 1:30 p.m.
A $15.6 million renovation of the theater is nearing completion, and one official show is already booked: Regina Spektor will perform on March 26, though other shows preceding that gig may be announced in coming weeks. The 2,800-capacity venue, built in 1916 but closed since 1977, will be managed by First Avenue and Jam Productions. According to the city, renovations are nearly complete: “The only remaining work involves fine-tuning the mechanical systems, adding acoustic treatments and minor aesthetics work.”
The venue’s opening caps a “Year of Music” in the City of St. Paul. “I’m incredibly thankful for every worker who touched this project,” said Coleman in the press release. “After 40 years of vacancy, this 100-year-old building in the heart of downtown will be contributing to the economic vitality of our city for decades to come.”
The Current has been recording sessions in the venue as it’s under construction. See performances by Jeremy Messersmith, deM atlaS, and Sarah White — and tune in to The Current at 8:15 a.m. on Dec. 16 to hear Mayor Coleman talk with Brian Oake and Jill Riley.