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The Landmark Theatre is a breathtaking establishment in the heart of my hometown of Syracuse, New York (actually a city). It is known for its timeless aura, classic beauty and remarkable design.

Creation Of This Incredible Edifice

The Landmark Theatre was designed by Thomas W. Lamb and was christened the Loew's State Theatre on February 18, 1928 in Syracuse, New York Since it was built at the end of the Roaring Twenties, its beauty remains to this day. When it first opened, it offered double bills of first-run moving pictures and famous stage acts to its amazing freewheeling audiences. The power and awe it held over its attendees was so great that it continued to draw patrons even when the stock market crashed one a year later. At the Landmark, people could replace the despair of life with this theatre's high spirits and grandeur. The Landmark is labeled with the aura of the Indo-Persian type, but has also had European, Byzantine, and Romanesque added as well. The minute that one entered the theatre, one is (and still are) brought into another world.

Timeless Beauty and Awe

It starts from the instant you enter the lobby and see the overhead chandelier designed by Louis Tiffany (which was actually made for the Cornelius Vanderbilt mansion), as well as largest of the theatre's several large murals. Located above the front doors is a Musician's Gallery where quartet serenades were held as entertainment during intermissions in the 30's. It only got better from there when the grand staircase is ascended to meet the promenade lobby that delighted its guests with fish pond containing a Japanese pagoda fountain. The theatre holds 3,300 seats and 1,832 are found in the main auditorium. This main auditorium was decorated with rich golds and reds with beautiful wall accent ornaments throughout. Wait, there's more - the 1,400-pipe Wurlitzer organ added incredible exotic flavor. From this organ, the sounds of glockenspiel, marimba, bird whistles, hoof beats and surf sounds can be heard in addition to the beautiful organ sound itself.

A Close Call

The Landmark was the place to be all the way into World War II, but it started to lose attendance in the 50's. It kept getting worse until it looked like that Landmark was a soon-to-be parking lot in 1975. Not allowing this without a fight, a group of extremely concerned citizens got together and formed the Syracuse Area Landmark Theatre, also known as SALT. Working desperately to keep the Landmark from being demolished, SALT had the Landmark put on the National Register of Historic Places. This in turn allowed for government funding. Fortunately, by the end of 1977, SALT had acquired the Landmark and started to bring it back to its original splendor. Seeing the dedication and determination of these few citizens, the group started to get ongoing funding from the New York State's Parks Commission, and the Onondaga County and City of Syracuse were soon to follow this supporting trend.

Still Doing Well

Today, the Landmark is still holding its own by keeping the schedule full with events such as live performances from the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra, a variety of renowned musicians and touring Broadway shows (my high school senior ball was even held there). The Landmark is supported and kept up by a variety of funds and hopes to remain the eye-catching place that it is for many more years to come.

Sources:

  • http://www.syracusecvb.org/Visitor/Fun/Arts/landmark.html
  • http://landmarktheatre.org/
  • Personal Knowledge

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