St. Paul wants to turn the Palace Theatre into a concert venue

Here's an architectural rendering of what the new space would look like.
Here's an architectural rendering of what the new space would look like.

St. Paul has announced plans to invest in its existing downtown real estate to pull more concertgoers. In a press conference held Monday morning, St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman described a $12 million renovation of the long-shuttered Palace Theatre located within the West 7th Place plaza, which is also home to Wild Tymes and the Artists' Quarter.

According to a report from the Current and info from Pioneer Press, the planned changes assisted by First Avenue and Jam Productions will up the capacity of the theater to 3,000. The main differences will be the removal of the venue's floor seats and a lobby wall. And the city's commitment to the West 7th Place plaza also includes some more immediate attention to the Artists' Quarter, which announced it would close at year's end.

"I don't care what you read in the papers," Coleman said during the press conference. "We're going to make sure the Artists' Quarter stays open." Gimme Noise reached out to the mayor's office and received confirmation that Coleman "has made a commitment" to doing what he can to keep it open, but no other information was provided.

The Palace was built in 1916, and was used for movies and vaudeville in the past, but has been dormant for the past 29 years. Its most recent use was as a temporary home for Garrison Keillor's A Prairie Home Companion during the Fitzgerald's revamps in 1984. If renovations are approved, the goal is to have the Palace open for events by 2016.

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