New York City was home to many opulent movie palaces during the first golden age of cinema in the first half of the 20th-century, but sadly many grand movie theaters have been lost. This year, one of the theaters that has managed to stand the test of time, the Loew’s 175th Street Theatre in Washington Heights, is celebrating a special anniversary. Fifty years ago the theater was saved from demolition when it was purchased by Rev. Frederick J. Eikerenkoetter II (Reverend Ike) as a place for his church to congregate. Ever since 1969, United Palace of Spiritual Arts (UPSA), an inclusive spiritual community, has called the theater home.

Originally built in 1930 as one of the five Loew’s Wonder theaters in the New York City metro area, the theater showed first run movies and vaudeville shows. Today, the 3,400-seat theater now serves as a venue for all kinds of entertainment and community events in a space that is almost identical to when it first open, thanks to careful restoration projects. This month, you can go behind-the-scenes of this historic theater on a special tour with Untapped Cities Insiders. Not an Insider yet? Become a member today to gain access to free behind-the-scenes tours and special events all year long!


  • Discover the history of the United Palace Theater
  • Learn about the theater’s restoration and transformation into cultural venue
  • See up close the sumptuous details in the lobby and the auditorium, with a look backstage as well

DATE: Sunday, May 26th from 2:00PM to 3:00PM

PRICE: FREE for Untapped Cities Insiders!

CAPACITY: 25 guests. Spots allocated on a first come, first served basis.

REGISTRATION: Monday, May 13th at 12 PM EST
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Learn more about the United Palace here.


Photograph by Emmanuel Abreu Courtesy of United Palace

Photograph Courtesy of United Palace