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Take a Seat

Albany Mayor Jerry Jennings and city officials have discovered an interesting phenomenon. People in the Capital Region not only like having their names on things, they’re willing to pay for it. That’s why the city is looking to its wealth of narcissists to fork over some much-needed cash for the Palace Theatre renovations project.

Dubbed “Sponsor a Seat,” the fund- raising campaign works like this: For a $250 donation, sponsors will receive a personalized brass plaque attached to the arm of one of the theatre’s newly refurbished seats in the orchestra or lower-level balcony sections. With a $150 donation, sponsors will get a plaque in the upper level balcony. All donors will also receive a one-year charter membership, which entitles them to advance show information and a listing on the donor page in the playbill.

The “Sponsor a Seat” program is but a few days old, and only 34 of the theater’s 2,829 seats have been sponsored. But city employee Katie O’Malley isn’t worried about reaching the projected goals. “You’re talking to someone who sold 11,455 bricks for the Hudson River Way,” she said.

O’Malley also offers a guarantee that the personalized brass plaques will last the lifespan of the seats, hopefully a slightly longer existence than their brick counterparts on the footbridge, some of which have fallen into disrepair already.

If campaign organizers do manage to get all of the seats sponsored, they will have raised close to $450,000, a solid chunk of the $3.5 million needed for the first phase of renovations. When all is said and done, all of the Palace’s seats will be completely refurbished with contemporary fabrics and modern mechanical components, the ceiling and walls will have a fresh coat of paint, and a variety of other improvements will have been made.

If you are interested in “Sponsoring a Seat” you can log onto or call the Palace Theatre business office at 465-3335.

—Paul Hamill

Teri Currie

Welcome to South Troy

The re-created Burden Water Wheel mural, at the intersection of Burden Avenue and Mill Street in Troy, is nearing completion. Designed by Troy artist Kevin Clark, and a project of Capital District Community Gardens’ Troy Gateway Initiative, the mural replaces its deteriorated predecessor. As CDCG project coordinator Doug Melnick explained in a press release, great care was taken in choosing materials to ensure that the mural would be long-lasting—the paint itself is supposed to last for 100 years. Troy-based Sage Brothers Painting donated $5,000 in materials and services to the effort, which should be completed by Nov. 4.

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