New Seats, Marquee In Store for Landmark Theatre New Seats, Marquee Coming to Landmark Theatre

The Landmark's been waiting decades. Now it's wanted renovations are coming.

ANCHOR: One local landmark in Syracuse is due for some change. NCC News’ Frankie Vernouski details how the Landmark Theatre has big renovations coming both inside and out.

RICK DEYULIO: That’s Bob Seger. It’s Rick Deyulio. Today we’re live in Armory Square.

VERNOUSKI: Rick Deyulio’s a local radio host and a frequent guest at the Landmark Theatre, and he’s got the souvenirs to prove it.

DEYULIO: You know when a Beatle comes to town that’s a big deal. This here is just kind of a relic from 1993.

VERNOUSKI: He says that renovations to the Theatre are more than necessary.

DEYULIO: And it is a little bit sad looking right now, so I think it’s a good thing. It’s only a positive thing to spend some money and restore it to its former beauty.

VERNOUSKI: That starts with the marquee which is still the same from its placement in the 1950s. As exeuctive director of the Landmark Mike Intaglietta notes, it’s got holes, rust and is even partially covered.

INTAGLIETTA: You don’t need to walk into the Theatre to realize the marquee is in bad disrepair.

VERNOUSKI: The other renovating will come with the seats. Anyone who’s seen a show at the Landmark knows they were made for an audience of the ’20s and are too small for today.

I will admit, it’s a bit spooky being in a Theatre by yourself on Halloween. I’ll tell you what’s spookier though. These seats have been in here since the Coolidge administration, and when you’re up here in the balcony, it’s pretty tight.

Intaglietta says he hears complaints about the seats and marquee constantly. He can’t wait to put them in the past.

INTAGLIETTA: I think what is sometimes lost is how much the people that work here care about the experience and about our role in the community. No one is looking forward to these improvements being made more than we are.

VERNOUSKI: A new marquee and completely new seats will be installed over the summer months next year. Frankie Vernouski, NCC News.

SYRACUSE, N.Y.—Torn and outdated 90-year-old seats. A worn-down and rusted 60-year-old marquee. Father time is getting the best of one of downtown Syracuse’s most historic buildings.

The Landmark Theatre opened on Salina Street in 1928. The same house seats that experienced the Great Depression still stand. That has been a cause of many complaints, according to Mike Intaglietta, Landmark’s executive director.

“The seat discomfort has been well publicized,” Intaglietta said. “It’s an obstacle to participation here.”

The seats at the Landmark Theatre have aged, pink covering and worn down metal and wood framing.
Intaglietta said the seats are too outdated, so the new, larger seats will make a large, positive difference for visitors.
© 2019 Frankie Vernouski

Intaglietta even said that that aged seats have prevented some shows from wanting to come to the theatre.

“There are shows here that are sensitive to the fact that some of our seats are less than perfect,” Intagletta said.

The average individual in the U.S. is two inches taller than they were when the Landmark was built. Now, when you purchase a ticket in the balcony, you are warned before purchase that there is “restricted legroom.”

The all-new, larger seats will cause a slight decrease in the Landmark’s capacity from about 2,800 to 2,700.

The Landmark Theatre marquee
The front of the marquee is covered by a canvas because it is so worn down.
© 2019 Frankie Vernouski

A capital grant was approved that awards the Landmark Theatre $2 million. In part to renovate the seats, but it will also fund the replacement of the 1950s marquee. A marquee which has seen better days.

“You don’t need to walk into the theatre to realize that the marquee is in bad disrepair,” Intaglietta said.

He believes the new marquee will help change all of Salina.

“There’s a lot of development going on in Salina Street now,” Intaglietta said. “Having a real anchor for that development here at the Landmark is going to be something that the entire community should be able to enjoy.”

Renovations will take about 14 weeks, running from mid-June next summer to Labor Day. Then the Landmark will re-open, with a new look, for its 2020-21 season.

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Frankie Vernouski Profile Picture

Frankie Vernouski

I am in my third year at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communication. In my time at Syracuse, I also work for WAER-FM, WJPZ-FM and the ACC Network. In the summer of 2019, I was with the Brewster Whitecaps of the Cape Cod Baseball League. I look forward to joining the Auburn Doubledays in the Washington Nationals organization in 2020.

Other stories by Frankie Vernouski

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