The Electric Palace is an electronics store run by Bart Rathbone. Though the items are generally overpriced and Bart is a scheming, conniving businessman, people keep coming.
The store has two stories (#323: “A Little Credit, Please”), automatic doors (#256: “Aloha, Oy!, Part 1”), a basement, an upstairs office which apparently contains a pile of maps to the store (#323: “A Little Credit, Please”), and a small back room where Bart keeps his private things (#243: “Family Values”).
The Palace is one of the Bonsai Corporation's largest distributors in the area.
The store address is 1313 Mockingbird Road (#312: “Rewards in Full”).
The property on which the Electric Palace sits was originally owned by local businessman and villain Regis Blackgaard and hosted the now-destroyed children's establishment Blackgaard's Castle (#160: “A Rathbone of Contention”). Regis extended a loan to local resident Bart Rathbone to open the store on the former grounds of the Castle, with stipulations that apparently required Bart's cooperation in Regis's schemes over the years (#319: “A Touch of Healing, Part 2”, #325: “Angels Unaware”, #334: “The Final Conflict”). Bart was unable to pay off the loan by the time of Regis's death, at which time Regis's will dictated that Edwin Blackgaard inherit the store (#342: “Welcome Home, Mr. Blackgaard”). Bart has, however, remained manager of the store for its entire history.
Bart's shady business practices started as soon as construction on the store began as he "hired" the unqualified Eugene to wire the store for a building inspection. The scheme naturally, and literally, blew up in Bart's face (#160: “A Rathbone of Contention”).
Bart was once able to generate extra business for the store by agreeing to host a food collection bin for a food drive organized by Jack Allen inside the store. Access to the bin was naturally located "through the bargain appliances aisle." Bart went so far as to take credit for the entire food drive on local television in an attempt to generate even more business for the store, though he was soon forced to give due credit to Jack after finding himself speechless when asked for details about the program (#312: “Rewards in Full”).
Late into the Darkness Before Dawn saga, Bart was forced to allow the Bones of Wrath to vandalize the store as part of Jellyfish's efforts to throw off public mistrust of the gang and cast suspicion on the Israelites instead — a lie which Bart himself propagated on television. Bart's son Rodney was so incensed by the act that he turned on Jellyfish and helped Richard Maxwell to expose Blackgaard's activities (#332: “Another Chance”). At the end of the saga, the store was "closed until further notice" until Edwin Blackgaard returned to town and reopened it, with Bart returning as manager. As part of a misguided effort to apologize to the public for his self-perceived abandonment of them, Edwin gave away all the store's merchandise to the townsfolk — merchandise which was subsequently returned when Jack Allen intervened (#342: “Welcome Home, Mr. Blackgaard”).
After Bart's lawyer was able to successfully commute his community service sentence for crimes committed during the Darkness Before Dawn era, Bart tried to blackmail Edwin into selling him the Electric Palace. Edwin refused, not being able to sell the property due to the stipulations outlined in Regis's will. Edwin nearly lost both the store and his theater to Bart anyway after hastily signing a contract with Bart out of desperation to secure a much-needed loan for the theater, but scheme ultimately failed thanks to an appeal to Bart's conscience by Edwin and Jack Allen (#359: “The Merchant of Odyssey”).
The store was damaged by a tornado that swept through town in 1998 and had to be closed down for repairs. Bart and his family had been too busy earning a fast buck from the townspeople (by overcharging for emergency survival equipment) to properly prepare the store from the tornado's power (#397: “Tornado!”). Eventually the store was repaired and reopened for business.
The Electric Palace has not been seen or referenced since Bart's final episode in #632: “Suspicious Finds”. The death of original Bart actor Walker Edmiston and the dropping of the character of Bart after the 2008 Season likely indicate that the Palace will not appear again in future episodes.
The only two employees other than Bart and Rodney to ever have appeared on the show have been:
- The clerk who rings Connie up for her blender in #323: “A Little Credit, Please”
- Nathaniel Graham, who worked an intern in #444a: “Career Moves”
- "If we don't have it, then we'll probably have to order it for you." #220: “This is Chad Pearson?”
- "If we don't have it, you don't need it." #287: “Tom for Mayor, Part 2”
- "If you think it's too expensive, you can always win it in a contest." #558: “A Glass Darkly”
- "Prices you won't find nowheres else." #558: “A Glass Darkly”
|This might be an incomplete list. You can help by adding more entries.|
- #160: “A Rathbone of Contention”
- #164: “Sixties-Something”
- #175: “East Winds, Raining”
- #179: “You Gotta Be Wise”
- #198: “Treasure Hunt” (mentioned)
- #214: “The Living Nativity”
- #220: “This is Chad Pearson?”
- #246: “My Fair Bernard” (mentioned)
- #248: “Terror from the Skies” (mentioned)
- #256: “Aloha, Oy!, Part 1”
- #286 – #287: “Tom for Mayor”
- #312: “Rewards in Full”
- #323: “A Little Credit, Please”
- #325: “Angels Unaware” (mentioned)
- #331: “Checkmate” (mentioned)
- #332: “Another Chance” (mentioned)
- #342: “Welcome Home, Mr. Blackgaard”
- #359: “The Merchant of Odyssey”
- #397: “Tornado!”
- #390: “No Bones About It”
- #430: “Blind Girl's Bluff”
- #440: “I Slap Floor”
- #507: “The Benefit of the Doubt”
- #528: “The Taming of the Two”
- #538: “Stubborn Streaks”
- #551: “Stars in Our Eyes” (mentioned)
- #558: “A Glass Darkly”
- #580: “Tales of a Small-Town Thug” (mentioned)
- #581: “A Christmas Conundrum”
- #609: “Prequels of Love”
- #623: “Buddy Guard” (mentioned)
- #632: “Suspicious Finds”