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Welcome to the Canton Palace Theatre

Palace Stories

I get a particular tickle to work in the old box office...
 

Being an Akronite, I once thought that the only old theatre to survive the multiplex mania was the Civic. But imagine my delight, when coming to work in Canton and discovering, as an adult, the Canton Palace Theatre. It has the clouds, the stage, the organ, and the upholstered seats "a mini majesty that is large with the splendor of a bygone era again coming into fashion. In it, I've marveled at my daughters dance recitals, the Canton Ballets Nutcracker, the art films that I cant rent from RedBox, and the blockbusters that just dont quite cut it on my home TV. As a Board Member and volunteer, I get a particular tickle to work in the old box office, feeling like a glamour girl (at my age!), distributing tickets from an antique machine, watching the world pass by in a reflection of Canton, then and now.

—Judi P. Christy

 

 

I guess I never realized at the time how special the Theatre was...
 

I remember going to the Palace Theatre as a child with my parents. The first movie I remember seeing was GONE WITH THE WIND. I couldn't believe how long it was, and I guess I never realized at the time how special the Theatre was. Now, as an adult, this has become clear. During the Theatre's 80th Anniversary Celebration, one tour group had a special guest. A young man was escorting an older woman in a wheelchair: his great-great-grandmother. She was clearly in poor physical health, but had insisted that he help her get to the Theatre while he was in town, so that she could take the tour. She had been at the Palace on opening night with her parents, had watched as it was nearly torn down in the 70s, and wanted to see it one more time. She couldn't get to the balcony, but recollected that she had dated her future husband there, shared their first kiss there, and then brought generations of family there. She cried as the memories of so many good times came rushing back, and I will never forget the change in her initially grumpy teenage grandson as he began to understand what this place had meant to her.

—Julia Frankland

 

Lesho Wedding and CandlelightLittle did I know how much this experience would change my life...
 

My two biggest passions in life are theatre and love. Three years ago I was granted an amazing opportunity to direct RENT at the Canton Palace Theatre. I was elated to be a part of such a loving and moving production at the most historic and gorgeous theatre in our area. Little did I know how much this experience would change my life. During the rehearsal period, I met Christopher. He came to see our production and we had our first date! One year later he completely surprised me and proposed on the stage of the Palace after a production of THE WEDDING SINGER. We couldn't imagine not continuing this tradition, so we got married on the stunning Palace stage. From meeting, to dating, to getting engaged, to being married: we will forever be a part of the Canton Palace Theatre family, and are truly in love with the ambiance, the historic elegance, and all of the wonderfully amazing people that work to make it the absolute best event venue in Northeast Ohio.

—Marci Saling Lesho

Lesho Engagement Lesho Wedding and Candlelight Lesho Wedding Sign


 

The first time I ever stepped foot onstage was at the Palace...
 

The first time I ever stepped foot onstage was at the Palace Theatre in 1987, when I was just five years old. I performed a ballet routine with four other girls as part of our dance studio's recital. When it finally came time to perform in front of the audience, they all froze. Except me. I kept dancing the routine I had practiced so hard. (We have the video to prove it!) Since then, the stage has been my home, and I fondly look back on my first moment in the spotlight -- at the Palace Theatre.
 
—Lisa Belopotosky Knight
 

Butterflies in my stomach...
 

I had my first ballet experience in THE NUTCRACKER as an eighth grade dance major at Pleasant View School for the Arts with the Moscow Ballet. Now going back to the Palace for my own shows, the smell of the wood and warmth of the lights make me get the same butterflies in my stomach.

—Alexia Reiman

 


You could stay all day if you wanted...
 

My first memories of the Palace were as a young boy watching Disney movies. Bambi and Pinocchio may seem like gentle childrens classics, but I remember being terrified by the giant whale and the imposing image of Bambis father standing majestically after the terrible fire. Once you paid and were inside, you could stay all day if you wanted. However, as an adult, I had the pleasure of appearing on the Palace stage in several live theatrical productions which were much easier, much less traumatic and much more fun. A few years ago, I had the honor of portraying Frank Devol for a Stark County Bicentennial event that honored him as a Canton resident who went on to fame and fortune. The thing that makes the memory so special is that Frank Devol, as a child, had lived in a house that stood where the Palace now stands. His father became the band leader for the pit orchestra at the Palace, and as Frank grew up, he became a band member and started his musical career in the pit in front of the very stage I was performing on. I was thrilled to see how our histories had intertwined, and feel blessed that the Palace is still thriving and is being maintained as the last of the great downtown theaters.
 
—Don Jones
 

Opened my eyes...
 

I have watched magic unfold hundreds of time on the Palace stage and screen. My favorite filmmakers have played and I've been flooded with the same kind of nostalgia that the beautiful Theatre itself evokes. Filmmakers from around the world, that I've never heard of before, have opened my eyes and given me fresh unexpected visions. I've squeezed into the packed Theatre with my children for afternoon matinees, evening family movies and ballet performances - all coming-of-age, happy happy memories for the entire family. I love watching the wonder in their eyes as they experience those new visions, and the happy peaceful moments when they just rest their heads on the back of the seats and dreamily stare at the magically cloud-covered nighttime ceiling. 

—Andrew Rudd

 


It was the fanciest theatre that I had been to...
 

My first visit to the Palace Theatre was to see "Gone With the Wind" with my best friend Lynda back when we were like in the 8th grade. I thought it was the fanciest theatre that I had been to and it was so neat to see the movie on the giant screen.

—Alison Blondheim
 

I was in awe of how big and beautiful it was...
 

 I remember coming to see "The Sound of Music" with my mom and sister when I was in grade school. I was in awe of how big and beautiful it was with all the people there plus the clouds and stars in the sky! I'm proud to be a volunteer there now to keep the Palace Theatre open for more people to enjoy.

—Cathy Silski

It's been a special memory for our family...
 

When our youngest daughter was six months old, my husband and I took our oldest daughter who was three to see Pocahontas. See was in awe! "Are those clouds up there? They're moving! Are those stars? It's so pretty in here! Is the man making the music going in the floor?" She couldn't believe the size of the screen. She loved Pocahontas! It's been a special memory for our family and that was sixteen years ago. I remember going to the Palace when I was a little girl. It's great that we could take both of our daughters to the Palace, and someday we would love to take grandchildren that we may have. Thank you Palace for giving our family many happy memories over the years.

—Karen Smith
 

I've even been privileged to perform on the Palace stage...
 

I love this old theater! It's where I first met "Bambi" in the 1950s, and later saw "The Sound of Music" for the first time. I've even been privileged to perform on the Palace stage in the 1980's, and served as M.C. for a concert a few years later. Been there many other times, too, but those are my best memories.

—Edward Hostetter

It was magical...
 

I grew up as a young girl looking forward to walking downtown to the Palace to see a movie.  It was magical looking up at the stars in the theater.

-Leni Giavasis 

 

Four generations of my family had been there...
 

Having been raised in Canton, I love this place. Celebrated my son's 8th birthday here! Four generations of my family had been there, too. Volunteered many years ago, and still have commemorative brick... somewhere. Awe inspiring to the young, memory invoking to the not so young!

-Terri Dadisman

It was the first time I was on any stage...
 

In the Mid-80's I was around 6 years old and Alvin and the Chipmunks came to the Palace. I had won a coloring contest of some sorts and got to go on the Palace Stage. It was the first time I was on any stage, and many years later I found myself performing with The Larry Wilgus Christmas Spectacular, An Old Fashion Canton Christmas, and getting my undergrad from Akron University in music. And now, because of Jay Spencer and other influences, I'm shifting my energy from singing/acting to Pipe Organ/Theatre Organ. Thank you Canton Palace, for starting my stage memories so grand!

—John Rohr 

 

Awesome memory of the Palace and the movie...

I was one of the screamin' teens when "A Hard Day's Night" came to the Palace in '64. Awesome memory of the Palace and the movie! Saw it 7 times! Next best thing to seeing The Beatles in person.

Inese Freimanis Alvarez

 

I hid behind the big red curtain...

I remember having one of my first ballet recitals at the Palace when I was very young (I'm now 25). What I remember most was being too scared to actually perform! Instead, I hid behind the big red curtain, in my sparkly China girl outfit.

—Megan Dillon