Landmark Theatre

The Landmark Theatre, originally known as Loew's State Theater, is an historic theater from the era of "movie palaces", located on South Salina Street in Syracuse, New York, United States. Designed by Thomas W. Lamb, it is the city's only surviving example of the opulent theatrical venues of the 1920s. The Landmark is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Originally named Loew's State Theatre, it opened on February 18, 1928, and offered double bills of famous vaudeville stage acts and first-run films. During the Great Depression and World War II it continued to do good business, as theater patrons escaped for a few hours into its plush grandeur. However, by the 1970s, the theater suffered from low attendance and was in disrepair. Eventually it closed, and was in danger of demolition. In 1977 a group, Syracuse Area Landmark Theatre, or SALT, was formed to preserve and renovate the venue. With the help of a benefit concert by Harry Chapin the group successfully raised the money to purchase the property and begin the work of restoration, at which time Loew's State was renamed the Landmark Theatre. Still open today, the Landmark offers concerts and other performances, is available for weddings and other private parties, and continues to sponsor fundraisers to support its activities.

Architecture and decor

According to Peter Baum of SALT, Loew's State was the first great "Oriental-style" movie theater, predating Grauman's Chinese Theater in Hollywood, California, and two additional Loew's "Oriental palaces" in New York City. Architect Thomas Lamb described the theatre as "European, Byzantine, Romanesque â which is the Orient as it came to us through the merchants of Venice." A large chandelier once hung in the lobby, originally designed by Louis Tiffany for Cornelius Vanderbilt's mansion. The chandelier was sold during the 1970s. A 1,400-pipe Wurlitzer organ was also once a major feature of the venue, but was also gone by the time SALT purchased the property. The promenade lobby, reached via a grand staircase, once held a fishpond with a Japanese pagoda fountain. The Landmark's red and gold decor and several large murals have been preserved and restored. In addition to the theater, the building also includes several storefronts and many offices on the upper floors.


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