United Palace Will Welcome Kelli O'Hara, Ms. Lauryn Hill and More for 90th Anniversary
The United Palace - one of five famed "Loews Wonder Theatres" - is approaching their 90 year mark and there's no better time to officially introduce New Yorkers to the newly renovated and reimagined theater in the culturally rich neighborhood of Washington Heights, New York. As community spaces pop up, get torn down and reappear over the years, United Palace has remained strong - evolving into a hub offering world-class concerts, immersive multimedia productions, monthly movie screenings, and much more in addition to their spiritual programming. The eclectic, timeless architecture has been maintained to preserve the feel of a 1930s cinematic palace with state-of-the-art technological upgrades. The team behind what we now know as the United Palace of Spiritual Arts has lovingly restored, persevered and maintained the historical location at 175th and Broadway since 1969.
In celebration, the United Palace welcomes the iconic singer, songwriter, performer, and Greater New York City resident Ms. Lauryn Hill live in concert for their 90th anniversary on February 22, 2020. The concert will be the first of several anniversary events commemorating the venue's long history - first as a vaudeville and deluxe movie house, followed by its transformation into the Home of Spiritual Artistry and theater. Additionally acting as a fundraiser for the non-profit space, proceeds will help cover costs of ongoing building upgrades and restoration. With three weeks left until the main event, tickets are poised to sell out and are available now at https://www.unitedpalace.org.
"It will be a day of celebration that features a stellar performance by the incomparable Ms. Lauryn Hill. We are delighted to bring Ms. Lauryn Hill to Washington Heights and to the United Palace." said Chief Executive Officer and Spiritual Director Rev. Heather Shea. "It's a celebration and tribute to the past, as we acknowledge the present and launch the future."
Previous appearances and performances at United Palace include Adele, Allman Brothers Band, Ani DiFranco, Arcade Fire, Aventura, Bad Bunny, Beach House, Beck, Björk, Bloc Party, Bob Dylan, Bon Iver, Eddie Vedder, Elvis Costello, Foster the People, Iggy and the Stooges, Interpol, Jackson Browne, John Legend, Kanye West, Kraftwerk, Lenny Kravitz, Lorde, MGMT, Modest Mouse, Mumford & Sons, Neil Young, Patti Smith, Sam Smith, Sonic Youth, Sigur Rós, The Black Crowes, The Smashing Pumpkins, Vampire Weekend, and many more.
In building its roster of programming that totals over 150 booked days a year, the United Palace recently entered into a long-term agreement to host the 10-year-old Hillsong NYC branch of the Australia-based Hillsong Church every Sunday. Services are regularly scheduled for 10am, noon, and 5pm and attract up to 9,000 guests.
Other programs include a variety of online and in-person spiritual programs and 'Movies at the Palace: Our Favorites from Warner Bros', the current film series (to both honor the theatre's past as a vaudeville house and welcome a new generation of moviegoers) sponsored by The Miranda Family Fund and Warner Bros. Lin-Manuel Miranda refers to the United Palace in his Washington Heights neighborhood as "my theater." Mr. Miranda helped launch the effort to return movies to the United Palace in 2014 and continues to be involved in the series.
United Palace will be hosting an 80th anniversary screening of The Philadelphia Story, starring Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn, and James Stewart on February 10, 2020. The screening will feature a pre-show presentation featuring Tony Award-winner and all around Broadway legend Kelli O'Hara (Kiss Me Kate, The King and I) in a live interview for The Spark File podcast with Susan Blackwell and Laura Camien. Tickets are currently available at https://www.unitedpalace.org.
Past screenings have included 2001: A Space Odyssey with star Keir Dullea; West Side Story with star Rita Moreno; The Goonies with a treasure hunt throughout the theater; Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory with a chocolate-making demo by Raaka Chocolate; A Hard Day's Night with a concert by Beatles tribute band Strawberry Fields; and Fritz Lang's Metropolis with live score by solo flutist Kat Modiano.
The United Palace of Spiritual Arts is launching a new Spiritual Artistry portal that will expand its online services and programs to welcome all people and faith-based traditions to its growing local and global community. In addition to providing weekly spiritual services including, "The Power of Spiritual Artistry," the new portal will feature programs such as Tarot, Goddess Wisdom, Nature-Based Meditation practices, Astrology, and Spiritual Creativity. "Open Heart Conversations," UPSA's ongoing exploration of the world's faith-based traditions, will also be featured. The new portal is the latest evolution in UPSA's 50-year history of using multimedia technology to bring a spiritual message to audiences across the globe. From the early days of televangelism to livestream simulcasts online, UPSA has been at the forefront of groundbreaking forms of communication.
"The United Palace may be turning 90, but our collective need to gather under one roof and surrender ourselves to the magic of spirit, creativity and imagination is just as important now as it was then, perhaps even more so." said Chief Operating Officer Rev. Robert Way.
To keep up with upcoming events, please visit: https://www.unitedpalace.org/calendar.
Photo Credit: Walter McBride / WM Photos