Palace Cinema (10232)

This week’s review is a bit of a throwback. Though retired, the Palace Cinema (10232) is one of my favorite LEGO® sets. I have owned this set for a number of years already. It was among the first that I acquired after emerging from my LEGO® dark ages. However, I purchased it sometime before the inception of True North Bricks. I built it initially, and then it joined my LEGO® city. Consequently, I never reviewed it. It was only years later, upon moving, that I disassembled it. Recently I had the time to build the set again to display in my new home. As a result, this week we will take a closer look at the Palace Cinema.

Click here to read how I generate scores in this review.

Palace Cinema (10232) instruction manual.
Palace Cinema instruction manual.

PALACE CINEMA (10232) SUMMARY

  • SET NAME: Palace Cinema
  • SET #: 10232
  • THEME: Creator
  • COST: $199.99 CAD
  • BRICK COUNT: 2196
  • MINIFIGURES: 6
  • RELEASE DATE: March 1, 2013
Palace Cinema (10232)
Palace Cinema box contents.

PALACE CINEMA (10232) QUICK REVIEW

  • VALUE: 99% (Great cost-per-brick, amazing build-time value.)
  • BUILD: 85% (Sparse interior, but great exterior.)
  • MINIFIGURES: 48% (Lack luster Minifigures, bad brick:fig.)
  • ENTERTAINMENT: 100% (Great fun all around.)
  • OVERALL SCORE: 83%
Palace Cinema (10232) sidewalk details.
Palace Cinema sidewalk stars.

PALACE CINEMA REVIEW

VALUE: 99%

While it may be a little unfair to rate the Palace Cinema based on today’s standards, I do not have any value data from 2013. However, if you were to find this set for its original retail price today, you would be paying $199.99 for it in Canada. With 2,196 bricks, the cost-per-brick of the Palace Cinema is about $0.09. That is very good, and according to my current statistics, earns 98%.

Palace Cinema (10232) marquee.
Palace Cinema marquee.

The Palace Cinema took 420 minutes (seven hours) to build from start to finish. At $199.99, each minute of build time cost $0.48. At present, my average cost per minute is $0.84. As such, the Palace Cinema has a phenomenal build-time value, earning it 99% in that category. Averaging this score with the cost-per-brick score gives an overall value grade of 99%.

Palace CInema (10232) posters.
Now showing at the Palace Cinema.

BUILD: 85%

The exterior of the Palace Cinema is exceptionally well detailed. As I mentioned in the introduction, it is one of my favorite sets, and the outside design is a key contributor to that. When the set first came out, the printed star sidewalk tiles were a new design. The brick-built “palace” sign also looks great. My only complaint is that the sign could have used a stronger anchor to the building. It falls off with any little bump after having been on display for years.

Palace Cinema (10232)
Palace Cinema exterior details.

The first floor houses the ticket booth and the concession stand. The floor is fairly empty compared with modern modular buildings. It would have been nice to get a little more detail. The back wall and corner opposite the stairs are largely vacant.

First floor of the Palace Cinema.
First floor of the Palace Cinema.

Up one flight of stairs is the theater room. There is one screen showing the black and white film “Three Clicks and a Snap”. Two rows of seats fill the floor in front of the screen, and a raised projector platform occupies the back of the room. There are many open windows for a theater, but I like the exterior of building so much, that I will not deduct marks for that.

Second floor of the Palace Cinema.
Second floor of the Palace Cinema.

Finally, up a second staircase is the roof access door. There is nothing on the roof, but that is not a bad thing. There is room for a little MOC work up there.

Palace Cinema rooftop.
Palace Cinema rooftop.

In addition to the actual theater building, you also assemble a small limousine. The design of the car is not particularly inspired. As with many other large sets that the LEGO® Group produces, I could have done without this small build. The brick count of this car could have brought more detail to the building interior. I do understand the allure of adding a limo to the set though.

Palace CInema (10232) limousine.
Palace Cinema limousine.

Overall, I rate the Palace Cinema at 85% for build. I love the outside, but the interior could have used a little more detail. It loses one mark for that. Additionally, the “palace” sign looks great, but needs a more firm attachment to the building. I only take off half a mark for that though, because it still does the trick.

Palace Cinema (10232) ticket booth.
Palace Cinema ticket booth exterior.

MINIFIGURES: 48%

The Palace Cinema dates back to the times when Creator Expert Minifigures came with classic smiley faces. In general, the six characters included in this kit are generic at best. There are five adults and one child. The child’s un-moving legs lose some design points right from the start. Otherwise, each character has a hairpiece/hat and front torso printing. Additionally, three of them have rear-torso printing. However, accessories are a bit scant. You get a camera, a printed money tile, and two printed cash register bricks. In all, that gives a Minifigure design score of 60%.

Six Minifigures in a kit containing 2,196 bricks yields a brick-to-fig ratio of 366:1. That is unfortunately not very good at all. I rate the ratio score at 35%. Averaging this with the design score gives an overall Minifigure rating of 48%. Sadly, despite being an awesome set, the characters it comes with are lack luster.

ENTERTAINMENT: 100%

Despite my aforementioned misgivings with the Palace Cinema, it remains one of my favorite sets. When I initially built it years ago, it remained assembled in my LEGO® city until I moved. Now, it will take up its place once more. The building is beautiful, and a movie theater is necessary in any city. I do not keep many sets perpetually built, but this is an exception. Therefore, I rate this at a full 100% as my AFOL score.

Palace Cinema (10232) concession stand.
Palace Cinema concession stand.

As for kids’ enjoyment, I will also give it 100%. This set is probably a little pricey on the secondary market as a play set. However, my nieces came over just after I rebuilt the Palace Cinema, and they had some fun incorporating it into their games.

Palace CInema (10232) interior ticket booth.
Palace Cinema interior ticket booth.

OVERALL SCORE: 83%

Nowadays, the only way to get yourself the Palace Cinema (10232) is on the resale market. That means that finding it at the original retail price is going to be hard. However, $199.99 CAD for this set was a good price. You were getting a great set at a great value. The build has a couple of minor issues. However, in 2013, I was quite impressed with it. Each year since then, the LEGO® Group as upped the detail on these Creator Expert sets, which has influenced my current opinion. While it does suffer from very generic Minifigures, in the end I still love this set. After all these years, I still recommend it. How do you feel about the Palace Cinema? Let me know in the comments below, or on social media.

Until next time,

-Tom

Palace Cinema (10232) projector booth.
Palace Cinema projector booth.

What do others think?

Brick Insights is an awesome LEGO® set review aggregator. Below, you can see what other reviewers think of the Palace Cinema set.

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