St. Paul's newest music venue is throwing an open house over the lunch hour Friday.
The city has spent nearly $15 million to renovate the old Palace Theater. After opening in March, it's expected to host between 50 and 100 rock shows a year.
Joe Spencer, St. Paul's director of arts and culture, said the Palace has only been used occasionally over the last 40 years, so it's time to re-introduce it to the public.
"There are thousands and thousands of people who have walked past it every day and had no idea that this gem was sort of hiding back here." he said. "It's just a chance to get in and peek around and see what the city of St. Paul has been doing with this project for so long, before we turn it over to our partners."
First Avenue and Jam Productions of Chicago will book the venue. Crews have removed the seats from the former vaudeville house's ground floor to allow standing and re-upholstered 800 balcony seats. Capacity will be 2,800.
Spencer says the redesign preserved the elegantly worn look of the Palace's walls.
"After a hundred years since it was built, but being really vacant since 1977, there is a beauty and a warmth on these walls and in this room that really shines through," he said.
The open house runs from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Friday.
Concerts will begin in the new year including a performance by Regina Spektor booked for March 26.