Landmark Theatre

362 S. Salina Street,
Syracuse, NY 13202

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Showing 1 - 25 of 31 comments

muviebuf on November 5, 2021 at 3:58 pm

You can’t make this stuff up.

BTW … there is a picture of the new marquee in this article

GeorgeC on April 20, 2021 at 11:23 pm

Don’t want to knock Landmark because they have done such a great job restoring and maintaining the interior of the former Loew’s State. But since taking control of the theater 45 years ago, why have they let the marquee fall into disrepair? At their web site, Landmark says the marquee is beyond repair after suffering through too many Syracuse winters.

Given its raged condition, it’s unlikely any regular maintenance had been scheduled over the years. It’s also unlikely there are structural or safety issues since the marquee hasn’t been removed.

It was operational when Landmark took control of the theater and remained in working condition until at least 1985. The photo with “North by Northwest” playing gives a good idea what the marquee looks like with all lights working.

Landmark may have decided there was no reason to maintain the current marquee because it was not part of the original construction. They’ve been trying to secure funds to install a replica of the original 1928 style marquee for many years.

But Loew’s removed the original 1928 marquee over 70 years ago and replaced it with the current one. Clearly the circuit that built the theater wanted a completely different style marquee when they replaced the original.

Which brings up an important question: Should theater restoration include designs that the original builder/exhibitor abandoned?

DavidZornig on April 18, 2020 at 1:16 pm

1963 “It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World” trampoline promotion image added courtesy Dave Rogers.

Greenpoint on October 12, 2014 at 4:50 pm

I’m sitting in here now. What a beauty!!

Syraflix on September 13, 2011 at 3:31 am

They’ve taken out the back wall of the theater to expand the backstage out over the storefronts in the back. The addition is in a postmodern style that doesn’t fit in with the classic architecture of the building. They’re hoping the expanded stage will attract more live events.

TLSLOEWS on September 5, 2010 at 3:07 pm

The Theatre Hisorical Socity Reader book reports that this theatre is closed to the fall of 2011 for more renovations.Wedding and events will still be held in the lobby.

TLSLOEWS on August 4, 2010 at 5:31 pm

Great photo Bran,another LOEWS STATE.

Brad Smith
Brad Smith on April 24, 2010 at 12:38 pm

Click here for a photograph of the Loew’s State [Landmark] Theatre taken in 1930 by George Mann of the comedy dance team, Barto & Mann.

kencmcintyre on June 18, 2009 at 11:41 pm

Here is a January 1973 ad from the Syracuse Herald Journal:

Ziggy on January 12, 2009 at 3:08 pm

How gratifying to see such a large number of events listed on the marquee!

A couple of summers ago I was walking past the Landmark Theatre (I almost typed “Loew’s State” since that’s still how I think of it) and the marquee had its soffit removed, possible for repairs. What was exposed was the arched soffit of the original marquee, still intact! It would be great to see the marquee restored to its original appearance, and to have the vertical sign replicated as was done with Shea’s Buffalo

Hyford on February 5, 2008 at 3:37 pm

Well, cinema fans, if you want to imagine someone coming into the Loew’s State in 1955, while attending Syracuse University. It was the first performance of “Love Me or Leave Me” starring Doris Day being presented in CinemaScope and 6-track Sterophonic sound. I was sitting in the Loge (where I would always sit.
Suddenly, midway thru the film, Doris Day is presented singing “Shaking the Blues Away” I was blown away by the sound, the film and this incredable theatre I was watching this movie in!

Thank God for Syracuse, New York for preserving this landmark!!!

SWFLguy on September 24, 2007 at 9:49 pm

I saw many movies there back in the day. I remember the photos of all the MGM stars posted along the walls near the entrance. Was there ever a more ornate place built in Syracuse ? RKO Keiths and the Paramount were the closest competition. Great times.

kencmcintyre on September 21, 2007 at 9:20 am

Here is a 1948 ad from the Syracuse Post-Standard:

midnightvalntine on August 31, 2007 at 12:42 pm

the Landmark Theater was always amazing for me, especially as a child. We went to a lot of shows there in elementary school ( I remember going to Pippy Longstockings the night after a Marilyn Manson concert took place and being afraid of what we would find there ^_). The theater seems so enormous even now that I’m grown (well, 18 is kind of grown), but it seemed as large as the world itself as a mystified 1st grader. I also had the opportunity to perform there several times, and being on the stage is an experience in and of itself. The decor is fantastic with the cherubs and other mystical creatures, and there’s something to examine everywhere that you look. It is fabulous that the Landmark is considered a landmark and will be preserved for future generations of wide eyed children to take a glimpse into the great days of the enormous movie house.

spectrum on May 21, 2007 at 10:37 am

Seating capacity for the Landmark was 2,908 in 1936 according to the FilmTV Daily Yearbook of Motion Pictures and Television. The interior is a virtual duplicate (slightly smaller) of the Loew’s 175th St. Theatre in New York City.

reluctantpopstar on April 29, 2007 at 4:00 am

I went to this theatre a number times for concerts while attending Syracuse University in the 1980’s, including the Stray Cats and the Monkees. Sorry I missed Frank Zappa there, that’s a big regret. The place was one of the first old movie palaces I’d been in and lived up to its reputation. Fantastic decor, probably equal to the most lavish palaces like the Los Angeles or the Fox in San Francisco.

kencmcintyre on December 20, 2006 at 3:17 pm

Here is an excerpt from a 1990 article about the marquee:

A loftier beautification idea surfaced last week when the head of the Landmark Theatre proposed installing a curved, 1940s-era marquee over the theater entrance at 362 S. Salina St. at a cost of about $100,000. “I think this project is great,” Landmark Executive Director Frank Malfitano said of the beautification. “But it lacks a centerpiece.” Malfitano said the marquee could be the centerpiece that draws the public’s attention to the improved downtown. A similar project in Chicago has great success, he said.

Malfitano said the marquee could draw attention to the theater, which may draw in more shows, more customers and more people downtown. City Development Director Joe Mareane said the city wants to name the 300 block of South Salina Street the Landmark Theatre district. He said the city is interested in the marquee plan, but that none of the $10 million can go to the project. The law says that money has to be spent on city-owned property or public rights of way, he said. Mareane said the city has a special plan for the 300 block. It has asked the state for $300,000, which would be lent to businesses there at low interest for facade improvements.

kencmcintyre on December 7, 2006 at 5:47 pm

Was the proposed theater in the 400 block of Salina Street ever built? I keep reading articles about the plans in 1967, but nothing about the actual opening of the theater.

kencmcintyre on November 2, 2006 at 5:06 pm

Since my link went kaput, here is the text:


It was a downtown phenomenon. The throng of people â€" almost 3,000 of them â€" came to hear Harry Chapin sing. They also came to save Loew’s State Theater. The line for tickets began forming before 6 p.m. A little after 7 p.m. the line of people stretched three and four
deep along S. Salina and W. Fayette streets. By 7:30 p.m. the line curved around the block, past the corner of W. Fayette and Clinton streets and almost over to Jefferson Street. By 8 p.m. ushers were hunting inside the theater for empty seats to accommodate the people streaming into the sold out house.

The people in the audience paid $6, $7 and $8 dollars apiece to hear Chapin. The benefit concert was organized by Syracuse Area Landmark
Theater (SALT), a group that is trying to raise $100,000 to restore and revive Loew’s State.

SALT is attempting to raise the money by Nov. 12 in order to buy the
theater. The cost for the theater section of the building is $65,000. Another $35,000 is sought for roof and other repairs. The building is owned by Button Real Estate Co. If it is not bought by
the November deadline, it is expected to be torn down, probably to make way for a parking lot.

Inside the theater, people gazed in awe at the ornately carved columns, filigree railings and brocade walls. Before Chapin’s erformance, a band played in the foyer â€" like in the good old days when live music was heard in the theater. Loew’s was one of the great movie houses. Built with a blend of Oriental, Arabic and other exotic motifs, Loew’s opened in February, 1928. Its architect, Thomas W. Lamb, built more than 300 movie theaters in the United States after completing Loew’s.

According to Peter Baum, vice president of SALT’S Board of Directors,
Loew’s was the first of the great Oriental-style movie theaters. Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood,Calif., and two huge Loew’s “Oriental palaces” in New York City followed. An octagonal design covers the expanse of the ceiling in Loew’s. The walls of the theater itself are decorated with huge arches, depicting lion-like animals, graceful designs and arabesques. An immense proscenium arch
frames the stage. Curving columns and a pool that was used as a fish pond decorate the balcony level. The fourstory tall Grand Foyer, with a painting straight out of “The Arabian Nights,” greets people as they enter.

kencmcintyre on October 23, 2006 at 3:22 pm

Here is a 1977 article about the State:

annabelltoo on September 30, 2006 at 10:09 pm

Diane: I’m Jennifer Warren and the historian for the Waco Hippodrome Theater built in 1913 in Waco, TX. The architect for our building was Roy E. Lane of Waco and two other gentlemen of Dallas. I’ve not found in any record that our building is related but the uncanny resemblance of our Hippodrome to the one in Baltimore is stunning.

If you can shed any light on which architectural firms in Texas might have been related to our building, I’d appreciate the feedback or information.

Jennifer Warren
Waco Hippodrome Historian

GWaterman on December 26, 2005 at 7:16 pm

This is an incredibly beautiful theatre! I played here in the early ‘80’s with some touring bus and truck shows.

Patsy on October 10, 2005 at 12:47 pm

“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.” I feel a sense of loss whenever I visit a grand theatre such as the Landmark and realize that their Mighty Wurlitzer is gone as it was such an important piece of history for these theatres and would complete the theatre’s special ambience. And I hope that Diane Lamb whose husband’s grandfather was Thomas Lamb contributes again to this site and other Lamb related theatres in the near future.

Patsy on October 10, 2005 at 12:40 pm

I have now seen the Landmark Theatre, in person and found it to be a true gem in downtown Syracuse, but was sorry to learn that the pipe organ is no longer in residence.

Patsy on September 24, 2005 at 8:48 am

There are 147 theatres listed with Thomas Lamb as the architect. The Century is listed with photos that was in Buffalo NY, but is now a Burger King!