Live From the Empty Palace was the Local COVID-Era Programming We Needed

COVID has certainly been a time of adaptation, creative thinking, and trying to make lemonade out of a whole bunch of lemons, and some Big Island businesses and organizations are doing it with grace and style. Hilo Palace Theater is one of those organizations. Since the beginning of the pandemic, Palace Theater has used the down time to renovate their historic building, to create a Virtual Cinema experience that allows viewers to rent and watch movies from home, and they’ve created a new series with original content, Live From the Empty Palace.

The series sets local performers including magicians, aerialists, comedians, and lots of musicians on the theater stage to create an intimate experience for folks at home. The Palace switches the camera around, giving fans a view from the stage out into the empty audience, adding a haunting, still beauty to the performances. The low-key, stripped down sessions elicit deeper feelings and touch on some of the struggles that we are all dealing with right now (Higgs’ performance is really touching as he raps about COVID-19 while playing a gentle melody on his guitar). 

The series is available on the Palace Theater website (all videos are beautifully embedded for easy access) or on the Palace Theater Youtube channel (be sure to subscribe while you’re there).

Drew Daniels performs at the empty Palace Theater in Hilo

Here is a full list of the Live from the Empty Palace performances as of October 15, 2020:

Grace Scanlan (music)

Ydine (music)

Bending Elbows (music)

Tiaya Ruggirello (aerial contortion)

Ikaika Marzo (music)

Higgs (music)

Ok2Change (music)

Ka’ahele (music)

Aurora Hermanns (stand up comedy)

Ben Kaili with Kumu Hula Iwalani Kalima & Hula Hālau O Kou Lima Nani ‘E (music + hula)

Hawane Rios (music)

Hunter Way (juggler)

Lopaka Rootz (music)

Ben Witmer (music)

Drew Daniels (music)

Keep in mind that the Palace Theater is a non-profit organization, and like so many others right now it depends on the generosity of those who are in the position to help support them. If you can, consider making a donation to this great organization today so that they can keep producing quality content like Live from the Empty Palace.

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