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RIALTO CHATTER: Tony Awards to Find New Home in Uptown's United Palace Theatre for 2011?

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Michael Ridel reports in the New York Post this morning that the Tony Awards may be taking up shop in a surprising location next year: specifically, the United Palace Theatre at 175th and Broadway.  As BroadwayWorld previously reported, the Tony Awards will not be returning to its longtime home of 13 years at Radio City Music Hall come next year and have been in search of an appropriate replacement venue for some time.  Radio City will be unavailable next year, as it will be housing a new Cirque du Soliel production.

A rep from CBS has reportedly confirmed to the Post that "it looks like we'll be in Washington Heights next year."

The former movie palace was designed by Thomas W. Lamb and was built as one of the Loew's Wonder Theatres for vaudeville and movies. It opened in 1930.

In 1969, as most of the great movie palaces were closing down, the 175th St. Theatre was saved from demolition by the Rev. Frederick J. Eikerenkoetter II and was used by him as the headquarters for his United Church Science of Living Institute. The hall is currently used for concerts.

A sampling of performers at the venue since 2007 include Vampire Weekend, Eddie Vedder, Sonic Youth, Bob Dylan, The Smashing Pumpkins, Beck, Sigur Rós, Jackson Browne, Björk, Iggy and the Stooges, Modest Mouse, The Black Crowes, and The Arcade Fire.

There are still kinks to be worked out, Riedel reports, as for example, there is no parking and additional logistical issues.  The American Theatre Wing and the Broadway League, which present the Tonys, were hoping to move into a Broadway house, however there is none large enough to hold all of the invitees.

To read the full report of the Tony move in the New York Post, click here.

The American Theatre Wing's Tonys Awards are presented by The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing. At The Broadway League, Paul Libin is Chairman and Charlotte St. Martin is Executive Director. At the American Theatre Wing, Theodore S. Chapin is Chairman and Howard Sherman is Executive Director. For Tony Award Productions, Alan Wasser and Allan Williams of Alan Wasser Associates are the General Managers. Ricky Kirshner and Glenn Weiss of White Cherry Entertainment served as the Executive Producers of the 2010 Tony Awards. Mr. Weiss will also served as Director of the 2010 Tony Awards.

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