Syracuse’s Landmark Theatre is among 12 performing arts centers in Upstate New York seeking support for preserving the arts.

Every city has personal gems that captivate residents and visitors through performing arts. For Syracuse, the Landmark Theatre is at the heart of the entertainment district. Its eye-catching new signage and uniquely nostalgic architecture draws people in from near and far.

On Thursday, the Landmark was the site of a discussion held by “Alive Downtowns!” The organization invited a group of local residents and elected officials to the Landmark Theatre to talk about the urgent need for continued funding. The group is advocating for $20 million to be allocated by the state among 13 upstate historic theaters. 

A group photo of Alive Downtowns! attendees at the Landmark Theatre on Thursday, March 2, 2023. photo by Yolanda Stewart| Central Current.

Alive Downtowns! is a coalition of upstate performing arts centers focused on preserving entertainment monuments. The collective’s 13 performing arts centers focus on promoting the maintenance of arts in respective communities that have existed for a century.

Started during the pandemic, the coalition was formed out of the need for continuing arts, promoting economic resurgence, developing support among neighboring performing arts centers, and finding ways to survive without ticket sales. 

The event speakers included Sen. John W. Mannion, Reps. William Magnarelli and Al Stirpe and Landmark board member Andy Breuer. It was moderated by Denise Murphy McGraw of Alive Downtowns! with Mike Intaglietta, Landmark executive director offering the introductory statement. 

Each speaker shared their personal connection to the “heart of the community” and its vital role in providing access to education, economic development and recreational activities. 

“We cannot allow irreplaceable places to be replaced,” Mannion said. 

The Landmark Theatre, the speakers proudly boasted, is often the subject of admiration from out-of-towners, making it one of Syracuse’s popular attractions. 

The speakers noted the Landmark Theatre is an essential asset to the community, thriving through the Great Depression, an economic resurgence in the 1970s and up until present day through the challenges of a pandemic. 

“This is important to us and I know it is important to the community,” Stirpe said.

Now in its “third awakening,” as Breuer alluded to, the theater is still in the midst of the economic impact of the pandemic.

The Landmark Theatre has served as one of the city’s oldest and revered attractions. Opened to the public on Feb. 28, 1928, it recently celebrated its 95th anniversary. The venue holds  memories of events from weddings, dance competitions, to concerts and plays.

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