Sunday, November 30, 2014

The Landmark Theater Champagne Tour

Landmark Theater
Downtown Syracuse, NY
November 18th 2014


I like FREE,,,,,retract that I LOVE FREE and I am incline to find ways to go, do and see free if at all possible. Would I call myself...stingy...NO.....Penny Pinching??   Not really.....but CHEEP!!! Yep Cheep I most certainly am. I have no problems going to look at cars even test drive them...(When I have no need to purchase one)..simply to gain access to the FREE hot dogs, pop corn and $5- gift card. (My husband just test drove a car yesterday for a $50- Target card.) I coupon shop, search the web for good deals, will wait for the sales, and most often then not....I will find a way to do some activity of some sort 100% totally FREE. The Landmark Theater Champagne tour was exactly that...FREE!
All I did was sign up with the local Newspaper as a VIP (I get the paper delivered 3x per week which is why I was eligible).
Once I signed up all these GREAT VIP activities appeared, things like lectures, discount tickets. and this great FREE Landmark tour. I registered for that one right away...and here was what FREE and a few clicks of the keys got me...AMAZING!!!

 The Landmark Theater is center to Down town Syracuse on Salina Street. Originally it was called Loew's theater and I took the rest of the history from Wikipedia..."The Loew's Corporation announced plans for a new theater on February 19, 1926. It would be built at the intersection of South Salina Street and West Jefferson Street, previously the location of the Jefferson Hotel. The Loew's State Theatre 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.[3] However, by the 1970s, the theater suffered from low attendance and was in disrepair. It closed in 1975 and was in danger of demolition. In 1976, Syracuse Area Landmark Theatre, or SALT, was formed to preserve and renovate the venue. With the help of an October 11, 1977 benefit concert by Harry Chapin, the group successfully $65,000 to purchase the property, at which time Loew's State was renamed the Landmark Theatre. SALT gained ownership of the theater while the remainder of the building including the upper floors remained with then-owner Sutton Real Estate.
The Landmark eventually purchased the first two floors of the building and a $16 million renovation project lasting from October 2010 to November 2011 expanded the backstage area, also providing new dressing rooms and green rooms in a plan to try to attract larger, longer-running events to the theater. The aging, recessed loading dock in the theater's rear on South Clinton Street was removed and replaced with a new two-bay dock. The box office was relocated from Jefferson Street to Salina Street, next to the lobby entrance and the original wooden ticket booth, both disused since its Loews State days. Awnings over the street-level storefronts were removed.
In addition to the theater, the building also includes several storefronts and offices on the upper floors.[4] The Clinton Street storefronts were eliminated during the backstage expansion, the display windows now used for event posters. The upper floors have a separate entrance on West Jefferson Street and are collectively referred to as the Loews Building. Two floors have been converted by developer Robert Doucette into 24 condominium apartments. On September 12, 2008, the Landmark hosted the world premiere of The Express (movie), a fictionalized account of the life of Syracuse University alumnus Ernie Davis, attended by stars Rob Brown (actor) and Dennis Quaid. Several blocks of South Salina Street, normally a main thoroughfare through downtown, were closed to traffic for the event."
 The fact that this building was nearly demolished is heart breaking...
 "According to Peter Baum of SALT, Loew's State was the first great "Oriental-style" movie theater, predating Grauman's Chinese Theater in HollywoodCalifornia, and two additional Loew's "Oriental palaces" in New York City. Architect Thomas Lamb described the theatre as "European, Byzantine, Romanesque – which is the Orient as it came to us through the merchants of Venice."[3] A large chandelier once hung in the lobby, originally designed by Louis Tiffany forCornelius Vanderbilt's mansion. The chandelier was sold during the 1970s. A 1,400-pipeWurlitzer 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. The restored lobby is closed to the public and is only open for special events." 
More Wikipedia...

I have seen several shows at this theater, even as a child. I recalled a room which our tour guide reported was the coral room (no longer in existence) that one was one of the dressing rooms. The room was sea shells and coral..I remembered being charmed by the room as a child, and had to ask my mother to be sure. She confirmed it. I remember I saw Wicked and Phantom of the Opera at this theater. There had to be many other activities here as well, but those are the two that stand out.
 This is a carving of the designer and below is his son.

 The balconey




 The champagne...
Tammy went with me and we toured the building including the back stage and new dressing rooms. First we got to "play" on the stage.

 all the lights....
 this might not look like anything...but it is over 70 different lines for curtains, backdrops and lifts....
 Tammy poses in one of the Main DRESSING ROOM...."I'm a STAR"

 As we exited the dressing rooms we headed to the second floor of the theater...
 I didn't notice the hanger until just now....seems a little odd doesn't it?
 A side view of the mural and a closer picture of these incredible light fixtures.
 This beauty was in the men's bathroom. YEP the bathroom. Apparently this was were the "important" men tended to their business. I wish I had taken a shot of the whole fireplace, but our tour guide could not find the lights and there were people bumping into one another all around me.
 A long shot from the second floor lobby....Impressive


 This temple replica is above the water fountain. I always find it funny where there is amazing art on/over practical things... ( The NY City Public library has bronze lions over there water fountains.)

The view of the stage from the second level is incredible. Just look up. The ceiling and walls are full of art.



 This is a picture of the rows of seats leading to the back..I'm not sure where Clarissa; the Landmark theater GHOST, is thought to be sitting as she is seen by so many artists, and patrons alike, but isn't that an ORB on that seat RIGHT THERE?????
 An enlarged section of the ORB......
 Do you see anything?????
Some more of the incredible BEAUTY of this place...



 How many animals can you spot in this picture? And what kind of animals are they?



 and the elephants that watch over the doors as we make our way out.
As I mentioned, I have been to this theater many times before (in fact I was there again since this event only a few days later..see on another blogspot), but it wasn't until I just LOOKED that the true amazement came into focus. I very easily could have sat on the upper level of the theater for an hour and barley took in all of the designs and art work, it seemed to go on and on.
(The ticket booth)
As we were leaving, Tammy and I were blessed with yet another GIFT!! The new owner of the Landmark theater's wife collected these adorable T'was the Night Before Christmas scenes and had them on display like they do in down town NYC windows.
 T'was the night before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stiring
 not even a house...visions of sugar plums danced in their heads......
 ..and ma in her kerchief and I in my cap, had just settled down for a long winters nap..when what should arise on the roof with a clatter...I sprang up from my sheets to see what was the matter....
 when what to my wondering eyes should appear....
 on Dasher, on Pracer on Dancer on Vixion....on Comet,....Donner and Blitzen...Merry Christmas to all and to all a Good Night.
(I could not get this shot without the glare no matter what I did)
What did you think of my 100% from memory the story of the Night Before Christmas? Might have missed a few lines....but not to bad hun.
A few more window displays....

 This scene is so cool...the back view of Santa is so recognizable.....and since he is such a mystery...I love how we are getting a sneek view of him as he is about to dash out to his sleigh for the night.
 I don't think Charlie was just here for the Holidays...but I had to catch a pic of this theatrical icon too!
Best FREE night I have had in a while.....I just so enjoyed the history and the elegance of years gone by and having the opportunity to see them today.