Calgary

Flames Central is no more, Palace Theatre returns

It's one of the last remaining movie palaces still standing in Western Canada, the home of broadcasts by "Bible Bill" Aberhart and a national historic site. And now the building that's come to be known as Flames Central is reverting back to its original moniker.

Historic site on Stephen Avenue isn't changing ownership

It's one of the last remaining movie palaces still standing in Western Canada, the home of broadcasts by "Bible Bill" Aberhart and a national historic site. And now the building that's come to be known as Flames Central is reverting back to its original moniker. 0:27

It's one of the last remaining movie palaces still standing in Western Canada, the home of broadcasts by "Bible Bill" Aberhart and a national historic site. And now the building that's come to be known as Flames Central is reverting back to its original moniker. 

The Palace Theatre on Stephen Avenue was built in 1921 by theatre architect Howard Crane — it's one of only three surviving examples of his work — and was once a single link in the largest movie theatre chain in Canada.

The Allen Chain of cinemas sold the building to Famous Players in 1925. 

The Palace Theatre, home to Flames Central since 2007, will revert back to its original name. (Google Maps)

First public exhibition of radio

According to the Alberta Register of Historic Places, the building was also the site of the first public exhibition of radio in Calgary in 1922 when "an audience listened to a performance by three members of the Palace orchestra broadcast by the Calgary Herald's radio station."

Between 1925 and 1927, the register says, William "Bible Bill" Aberhart, who later became premier of Alberta, broadcast his religious radio programs from the Palace stage. 

It acted as a movie theatre until 1990.

The owner, Concorde Entertainment Group, said on social media it is reverting back to the original name after opening Flames Central in 2007.

The first scheduled concert listed on the new Palace website is on Feb. 2.