SYRACUSE, N.Y.—Torn and outdated 90-year-old seats.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.”
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.
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.