Novelty Theatre

213 W. Fayette Street,
Syracuse, NY 13202

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dallasmovietheaters on December 12, 2022 at 5:19 am

The Novelty Theatre in Syracuse was opened on February 21, 1907 with Al Collins directed “Ups and Downs of Murphy” and Romeo Bosetti in “The Drunken Mattress.” The theater joined its neighbor - the Burns Hotel (1880-1907) and later renamed the St. Cloud Hotel (January 17, 1908-August 1953). The movie venue was named after its owner and was referred to as Morgan’s Novelty Theater seating 600 with a change of show daily. A success, the Novelty was open from 2p-11p daily with illustrated songs and motion pictures.

In 1915, the Novelty was taken over by David Schine of Schine Theatres and then by George E. Smith in 1918 simply as the Novelty Theatre. The Novelty was wired for sound to remain viable. The theater lost its place in the local movie clock generally indicating - though perhaps not in this case - a transition to a theater catering to African American audiences. The next door Novelty Candy Store served as a de facto concession stand.

The Novelty appears to have ceased operations following a major fire in the neighboring St. Cloud Hotel in September of 1953. The building housing the candy store and the theater was definitely torn down along with the St. Cloud Hotel beginning in October of 1953 (somebody was arrested pillaging an item from the closed theater) and continuing into 1954. The neighboring building on Clinton Street was also bulldozed and blacktopped leaving an open air parking lot for Murbro Parking that still exists in the 2020s.