Back in 1914, a new cinema came to 19 Utica Street in Hamilton. Through the decades, it has served as a shoe repair shop, community garage, and manufacturing warehouse.

Like a trunk of costumes hidden away in the attic, it was waiting to be rediscovered and used once again for the entertainment and edification of art lovers, young and old. In 2002, the wait came to an end.

The Palace Theater returned to its roots after a $2 million renovation, financed through gifts to the Colgate University Parents and Grandparents Fund. Operations transferred to the Hamilton Initiative.

In 2015, just in time for the building’s 101st birthday, a group of devoted Hamiltonians formed a new entity, Arts at the Palace (AATP), to take over Palace Theater management from the Hamilton Initiative. This 501(c)(3) is a new twist on a proven idea: art is best presented by the people, for the people.