One half of Southend Theatres, the Palace is one of the leading venues for arts in the region. It opened in 1912 as the Palace of Varieties, seating up to 1500. After changing its name twice, the Palace was renovated and reinvented as a hotspot for intimate gigs and smaller big-name productions with a reduced capacity size. Since reopening in 2003 in a merge with Cliffs Pavilion to form Southend Theatres, the Palace has made its name as a popular touring venue for solo artists. Southend and the Palace are now regular tour stops for the likes of comedians, Russell Brand and Jimmy Carr. Although downsizing over the years, it retains its stunning Edwardian allure, from ornate advertising frames to its majestic grand staircase. The architectural features also make it apt for receiving smaller-scale productions, giving it appeal as a close and charming venue. The Palace shows a mix of productions ranging from comedy to drama and music. It also caters to children during the school holidays, keeping them entertained with various workshops, masterclasses and shows.