“If you have a dream, don’t just sit there. Gather courage to believe that you can succeed and leave no stone unturned to make it a reality.” ― Roopleen
I couldn’t wait to see Love & Mercy and it finally arrived in my small town theatre. It was amazing. How much courage it took to go public, be vulnerable about your illness and not really an illness, just the set of circumstances Brian Wilson’s life has/had. Don’t get me wrong or think I take it lightly; as someone who has, is, dealing with the lifelong remains of sexual abuse and genetic depression….well it never goes away but after a while you learn that it has developed you. Made you more creative, better at gratitude as you realize that there are certainly worse circumstances you could have been born to or lived in. And here again we see the Power of One. If Melinda had not stepped outside of herself and done what she thought was right…would we be enjoying Brian Wilson or his music today???
On to today’s theatre.Another Loews Theatre. I just love these Grand Girls, the history they have seen and contributed to.
Date: October 6
Theatre: Landmark Theatre, Syracuse NY
Trivia Facts/History about the Landmark:
information obtained and adapted from The Landmark Theatre
When silent movies arrived in Syracuse, Salina Street had the Empire, the Strand, Keith’s, Temple (later Paramount) and Eckel theatres to draw patrons downtown for movie-stage shows. The latest and grandest was Loew’s State Theatre.
Marcus Loew attempted to buy the Empire Theatre but failed. Real Estate developers found him the building side at the northwest corner of Salina Street, occupied by the Jefferson Hotel, along with frontage for a block along Jefferson St.
Thomas Lamb was commissioned as architect. He had already designed the Strand, Temple, and Keith’s. He planned the city’s largest theatre, 3,000 seats, with an eight-story office tower.
Site acquisitions, costing $1.9 million, began on March 29, 1926. Construction took eleven months and three days, involved more than 300 workers and cost $1.4 million.
Loew’s State’s opening was announced February 18, 1928. The new theatre was advertised as “the last word in theatrical ornateness and luxuriousness.” By mid-morning on that first day, hundreds had formed lines outside the new Theatre. For 25 cents admission, patrons were directed by uniformed ushers through the lobbies, absorbing the wealth of colors and materials – marble, terrazzo, tapestries, filigrial chandeliers, and exotic furnishings. They were ushered into Lamb’s exotic world through the main lobby, which boasted a chandelier designed by Louis Tiffany for Cornelius Vanderbilt’s mansion, and the grandest of the theatre’s several huge murals. The Musician’s Gallery located over the front doors, featured quartet serenades as intermission entertainment during the 1930’s. Patrons who ascended the grand staircase reached the promenade lobby, where they delighted in finding a fishpond with a Japanese pagoda fountain. The main auditorium, which houses 2900 seats, was decorated in rich reds and golds and accented with wall ornaments throughout. The 1,400-pipe Wurlitzer organ offered its own exotic flavor, treating patrons to such sounds as a glockenspiel, marimba, bird whistles, hoof beats and surf sounds.
The Theatre showed its first “talkie,” “The Broadway Melody” on March 30, 1929.
The Depression thirties provided some of the Theatre’s finest hours. In the cultural style of the times:
• A uniformed doorman or “barker” greeted patrons out front
• Three cashiers staffed the outdoor box office kiosk
• Uniformed ushers, overseen by uniformed captains, directed waiting patrons into lines between velvet ropes, then to seats as they
• Sharply dressed “candy girls” graced the concession counters
• A basement carpenter shop created signs and stage props to order
In 1933 Loew’s presented its first public demonstration of television. In 1934 it introduced double features. About the same time, color arrived. In the early 1940’s Hollywood presented war films, complemented by newsreels which patrons scrutinized for glimpses of friends or relatives in uniform. Veterans were paraded across the stage. Intermissions were devoted to war bond sales.
On May 21, 1975 a Citizen’s Committee to Save Loew’s was formed.
The next day, Loew’s State was officially closed.
On June 4, 1975 the main lobby’s Vanderbilt chandelier was sold. On July 9, the Syracuse Area Landmark Theatre (SALT) was designated the agency to try to acquire and preserve the theatre.
On May 3, 1976 the US Dept. of the Interior listed the Theatre in the National Register of Historic Places.
Volunteers scrubbed, patched and resuscitated aging equipment. They arranged tours to reintroduce residents to the Theatre’s splendor. The first weekend, lines formed on Salina St. The high point came on October 11, 1977 with a sold-out benefit with Harry Chapin. Even after all this, SALT(Syracuse Area Landmark Theatre) remained more than $30,000 short. On November 5, the State Office of Parks and Recreation, citing the magnificent effort of volunteers, announced a matching grant of up to $35,000 for acquisition of the Theatre. The National Endowment of the Arts also made a $5,000 grant for architectural feasibility studies.
On June 29, 1979 title to the Theatre was finally transferred to SALT.
Local, state, and federal governments, foundations, and corporations began responding to funding pleas. Once more the theatre became a venue for stage events. Revenue from individual memberships increased.
Painstakingly gaining momentum, the Theatre now hosts over 150 events a year. Legendary performers that appeared as the theatre reopened included Gregory Peck, Lena Horne, Tony Bennett, Harry Belafonte, Pete Seeger and Bob Dylan. Since the completion of the stage expansion, the Landmark Theatre has been host to many top-level national acts including Jerry Seinfeld, Jackson Browne, Celtic Woman, Ray LaMontagne, numerous Broadway touring shows, in addition to the corporate and fundraising events held at the Theatre by numerous community groups each year.
*PS-Dear Reader- The only favor I ask is that you follow the story, Share if you are so inclined. Know that I am following dreams as you do.