Located in Downtown Syracuse, the Landmark Theatre has been at the heart of central New York’s cultural life for generations. But our world-class touring concerts, comedians, family shows, and Broadway productions are only part of what we do for the community. Syracuse Area Landmark Theatre is a nonprofit organization which also works to improve access to the arts, to foster artistic presentation with partnering nonprofits, to improve our theatre’s accessibility, and to maintain, preserve, and restore this living connection to our community’s history. These efforts would not be possible without the support of the community.
The Landmark partners with the Syracuse City School District to send students to select Broadway in Syracuse performances. Over the program’s first two years, we have purchased tickets for over 525 students from the district to attend Dear Evan Hansen and Hamilton, and another 90 participants from participating nonprofit groups like La Joven Guardia del Teatro Latino, La Liga, and the YWCA. SALT recognizes the transformative power of the arts and the impact it can have on a young person’s life. Exposure to live performances can ignite a passion for the arts, inspire creativity, and broaden horizons. It is through experiences like these that young people can discover their talents and potential, and the Landmark is committed to providing these opportunities.
The Landmark Theatre staff uses its extensive experience providing technical and logistical support for some of the largest touring theatrical shows in the world to benefit local arts presenters and producers. By offering reductions in fees to local nonprofits, we have been able to host successful events for Symphoria, the Community Folk Art Center, and the Make a Wish Foundation of CNY. Making the Theatre accessible to local arts presenters has been a part of our DNA since the Loew’s State Theater opened in 1928, and it helps to strengthen the cultural landscape.
Keeping up a 95+ year, 60,000 square foot theatre is never truly done. At the Landmark, we segment these tasks into four main categories: improving accessibility, improving the customer experience, critical infrastructure, and historic restoration and preservation.
Making sure that the theatre is accessible to all people is a top priority for the Landmark. In 2019, we installed a lobby elevator to connect our mezzanine lobby, main lobby, and Walnut Room. In 2021, we added three additional accessible seating areas to our auditorium at a variety of price points, added ambulatory seating on the aisles, and hand rails in the balcony to make them easier to climb. And in 2023 as part of our restroom expansion, we added one additional accessible stall and one ambulatory stall. As always our work is not complete, as we are exploring improvements to our assistive listening devices and exploring captioning and audio description solutions.
The experience of attending a show begins well before the curtain rises. In 2022, we completed the installation of our Salina Street Marquee, a replica of our original 1928 marquee to greet our guests and let the world know that there’s a show going on. It’s been such a hit that it’s on a license plate now. In early 2023 we undertook the first “expansion” to our concession services, adding two more stands on the main floor and increasing our total fixed capacity to eight locations, ensuring that our guests can get their beverages faster. In 2021, we undertook the long awaited replacement of our auditorium seating. The seats were a consistent obstacle to participation for guests at the Landmark, and they have been replaced with better designed, more spacious and supportive seating. And for intermission, in 2023, we completed the largest expansion to our restroom capacity in the theatre’s history, adding nine new stalls to the main level ladies room.
You may not see it, but it’s still crucial. This work involves ongoing investments in our heating, ventilation, and air conditioning and the transition of our lighting to LED. It also involves very significant investments like our recent building envelope rehabilitation, which included both roof and exterior masonry, funded by a NYS Capital Grant secured by Assemblyman William Magnarelli. In the coming years we will replace our HVAC chiller with a more effective, energy efficient model, and will seek a replacement of our Salina Street and Jefferson Street doors.
In recent years, the Landmark has engaged local and regional artists and craftspeople to perform ongoing preservation efforts in our historic lobbies. When installing the lobby elevator, we restored both the 2nd floor elevator waiting room and the women’s room anteroom to their original 1928 decor. In 2021, we repaired damaged paint and plaster work in our grand lobby domes. In 2022, we restored the Salina Street poster frames and door frames and got a start on the old ticket booth. And in 2023, we engaged A Greene Shop to restore damaged plaster in the main level of the lobby, and scenic artist Bari Tassinaro to restore chipped and faded paint. In the coming years, we will seek to restore the Walnut Room, in our basement, to its original look and feel, to replace our auditorium carpeting, and crucially, to restore our 2700+ seat auditorium, bringing back the original golds, greens, and reds which have long been hidden by age.
The Landmark Theatre Fund at the Central New York Community Foundation, is restricted to the support the capital investments into the Landmark Theatre property. You can help the Landmark achieve its restoration, preservation, and improvement goals by contributing to the fund.
Syracuse Area Landmark Theatre is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Generous donations from the community have sustained the Landmark for generations.
The Landmark Theatre offers an exclusive membership program with unique perks and benefits. Landmark Theatre members enjoy a variety of benefits, and all membership levels are tax-deductible to the maximum amount allowable by law.