The Jewel of Syracuse’s Crown: The Landmark Theatre

11 November 2014

Within the first few steps inside The Landmark Theatre I instantly felt its magic. Just the lobby itself is brimming with gilding Tiffany chandeliers, a wealth of plush colors and varying materials – marble, tapestries, wooden carvings and exotic furnishings engulfed me upon entrance.  Opulence would be an understatement.

You could say it was love at first sight. But what I couldn’t believe was that this was my first interaction with The Landmark since my relocation six months prior. When asked to join the Board of Directors last December, I was beyond thrilled. To join the ranks of board members and community leaders, some who have sat on the Board for over 17 years, was a true honor.

I recently thought back to the enchantment I felt when walking through the doors of The Landmark for the first time. The space is inspiring, invigorating and enlightening all at the same time.  I couldn’t help but wonder how many others in Syracuse (and beyond) had never visited the jewel of Syracuse’s crown.

The Landmark holds events beyond just traditional “Theatre.” One might immediately think Broadway shows and, sure, we have those: Book of Mormon, The Scintas and War Horse, but the scope goes much further. Just this past weekend, I sat in the red plush velvet seats to hear Ray LaMontagne, and next weekend I’m heading to see local news anchor Carrie Lazarus’s Extraordinary Event–a performance featuring some of Central New York’s most talented high school singers, musicians and dancers.

The events and shows are always changing, both the national and local variety, benefiting the entire community.  I believe this is the type of programming that keeps The Landmark fresh and current.

Of all of our events, though, it’s this Saturday, November 15th’s that might be the most important: The Landmark Theatre Celebration Gala.

Quick history lesson: The Landmark Theatre opened in 1928 and was in dire need of a major upgrade. It was basically falling apart and underwent a massive renovation and construction to the tune of $16 million just to keep the building intact. The new facility preserves this magnificent National Historic Treasure, blending the rich traditions of the building’s original era with today’s ever-evolving technology to bring in bigger and better shows. But we still have quite a way to go.

The Celebration Gala is a fundraiser to directly benefit and support The Landmark Theatre. The proceeds will go directly to preserving the Theatre which in turn benefits the entire community.  This is not your typical, stuffy, sit-down fundraiser. We’ll have live music provided by Ronnie Leigh, a star dedication to the Baldwin family, including an appearance by Stephen Baldwin. Silent auctions with items like signed Taylor Swift and BB King guitars (dibs on T.Swift!)

If you can’t make it (I know many of you are not in Syracuse, New York) here are a few other options:

  • Road trip to an upcoming show: John Mellencamp or for the kids: Frosty (rumor is it’s better than Frozen.)
  • Know someone that’s getting married? Share a few of these photos and include the following in your email: “It’s so fancy, fit for a princess, your name can go on the Marquee!”
  • Feeling philanthropic? Become a member or donate right here and I’ll personally give you a tour of The Landmark and write you a handwritten note to thank you for helping preserve this jewel.

Drumroll please:

just magic. photo credit: Evert Regal

Pure magic. photo credit: Evert Regal

gilding on gilding.

gilding on gilding.

one of the most photographed objects I'd say.

One of the most photographed objects I’d say.

That chandelier!

The chandelier was designed by Louis Tiffany for Cornelius Vanderbilt’s mansion.

Lobby4

Photo by Jake MecCanon

view from the stage. see you Saturday!

view from the stage. see you Saturday!

For more superb photos of the Landmark Theatre along with other beloved Syracuse shots, check out Jake Luttinger’s work here and Evert Regal’s Photography, too! And if you’ve been to the Landmark in the past, I’d love to hear your memories in the comments!