Main Street Waterbury
- Page 14
Sheree Marcucci
Marketing & Public Relations Officer
Peggy Terhune
Communications Associate
Palace Theater

Sylvester Z. Poli, entertainment impresario of the 1880s-1930s, commissioned the building of Waterbury’s Palace Theater in 1922.

“Poli’s Palace” theater, which was built in a mix of opulent architectural styles, first served as a Vaudeville and movie theater. As time progressed and popular entertainment evolved, the Palace began to host a wider range of performers, including rock bands, comedians, dance companies and musical legends.

In addition to being a magnificent place to see the best touring Broadway shows and concerts, the Palace Theater serves a wide variety of roles for the Waterbury community, and prides itself on being something special for everyone. Here are just a few ways the theater truly celebrates the saying, “Your Palace Your Place.”

Your Community Gathering Place - The Palace management team is highly creative with finding ways to maximize all the spaces within our 90,000 square foot building. Whether it’s challenging your brain at the monthly Trivia Nights in the Poli Club, dancing the night away at the popular ACT Jams Dance Parties with Al “DJ ACT” Taylor in the Orchestra Lobby, or finding your Zen in yoga classes in the Mezzanine, there is something special for everyone at the Palace!

Special events and celebrations for other not-for-profit organizations, such as Are You Dense, Acts 4 Ministry, Main Street Waterbury, Jane Doe No More, Shakesperience Productions, among others, are also a core part of the Palace’s mission.

The building’s elegant spaces are also highly sought after for a variety of fun social events - weddings, anniversaries, graduation parties, and birthday parties (Quinceañeras, Sweet 16’s, 50th Celebrations). One particularly memorable event was a traditional Indian wedding, with a ceremonial parade for the wedding party down East Main Street – complete with an elephant!

We are always delighted to welcome local businesses, too! Companies that have hosted conferences, meetings, and client cultivation events at the Palace include iHeartMedia, Webster Bank, Waterbury Regional Chamber, Smaller Manufacturers Association of CT. With the ability to accommodate groups of 20 to 500 during the business day or in the evening, we cater to your business’s needs, and our pre- or post-show events at the Palace combine the best of both worlds, a meeting and a show!

Your Educational Place – Arts for all! The Palace is home to Waterbury’s Arts Magnet School (WAMS), which has access to the Palace as a rehearsal and performance space, and has presented award-winning productions there for the past 14 years. WAMS band, chorus, dance and theater students showcase their considerable talents several times a year in the Palace’s spotlight. The opportunity to hone their craft and perform on the Palace’s stage has been the impetus for many WAMS graduates to pursue their passion professionally.

Many of them have gone on to careers in broadcasting, stage management, set/lighting design and arts administration, as well as performing.

One recent graduate even performed in the national tour of Something Rotten this year!

Got Kids? Palace after-school programs are offered every season in concert with one of the Broadway musicals presented in the Webster Broadway Series. Our middle and high school student participants study the show in depth, and enjoy a backstage tour and conversation with the performers. They also create a personal project and examine social issues connected with the show’s storyline. Our “Learning in the Wings’ program offers high school students an invaluable experience of working with a professional stage crew.

Curious about local history? Palace Theater History Classes and Tours provide learners of all ages fascinating information about the building and its history as an entertainment and cultural center for almost 100 years.

Your Inspirational Place – It’s Graduation and awards season! From High School and College graduation ceremonies, to competitions and awards shows, the Palace provides the perfect backdrop for aspiration and celebration.

Each year, the Seven Angels’ HALO awards recognize and honor high school students’ contributions to theater. Hundreds of students from over 60 schools across the state gather together to perform, cheer and take home awards, prizes and scholarships.

Hosting numerous dance recitals and regional dance competitions, the Palace draws hundreds of families from across the region to watch their young performers shine on our glorious stage.

Age is but a number: this fall, a new lecture series, Second Act, will offer inspiring stories from people who have created their own “second acts” by embarking on new careers, or embracing new talents after the age of 50. Sharing their stories and fulfilling their passion is just one part of this Palace program, which will bring attendees together over a light meal and conversation.

Your Entertainment Place – The best musicians are right here – and not only on the Main Stage! Jazz at the Poli Club, presented by New England Arts & Entertainment, brings live jazz music to downtown Waterbury in an intimate nightclub setting. Featuring many of the same artists who play at Birdland in New York City and around the world, such as John Pizzarelli, Jane Monheit, and Jay Giels, the Jazz Series continues to be a popular musical draw for music lovers.

Our Webster Broadway Series presents award-winning professional productions, fresh from the Broadway stage. What better place to see a show, than in the lovingly restored grandeur of the Palace Theater? And with a diverse range of popular rock and pop artists, from David Byrne to Alice Cooper, Manheim Steamroller to Tower of Power, the Palace continues to rock the nights away!

The Palace Theater is indeed Your Palace Your Place. Sylvester Poli wanted the theater to be “a palace… built for the people of Waterbury.” Our intention is to continue that legacy for a long time to come.