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On a recent trip through Chester PA with friends, we were surprised to find a vacant lot where 20-24 should have been. Did I miss the memo?
Wow! Totally not what i was expecting. From what i can see in these photos, it looks more like an Art Deco Gotham City Scape. Yes, very futuristic, but completely different from the deco detail in the Auburn Schine. Complimentary, but not the same treatment.
Warren please email me at
Thank you Warren, I will check that out.
(I have just figured out that the time stamp on these posts must be pacific time. I certainly wasn’t posting at 6:44 in the morning!)
Do any interior photos exist of this theater? From the brief description above, it sounds like it may have resembled the Auburn Schine Theater which also takes a futuristic bent. I would be very interested in seeing photos.
Lost Memory: Can you please email me at
A recent news article from the Syracuse (NY) Post Standard. Under the watch of FAST (Friends of the Auburn Schine Theater) the roof was replaced and the building secured against water and weather deterioration. Community spirit was very high, many people volunteered time, talent and funds to clean up the building. It felt like things were finally going to happen. That was in 2000. How many times does a city get the opportunity to restore and use an Eberson Art Deco Outerspace Atmospheric theater?! There aren’t going to be too many more bites at the apple for the Auburn Schine Theater.
The Post-Standard (Syracuse, New York)
January 17, 2008 Thursday
AUBURN GRANT REQUEST DENIED; STATE REJECTS BID FOR RESTORE MONEY. PROJECT LEADERS PLAN TO MOVE FORWARD ANYWAY.
By Scott Rapp Staff writer
The state rejected Auburn’s application for nearly $1.8 million in grant money, scuttling two major downtown projects for now.
Funding for a private developer was also denied.
Officials said Wednesday they’re regrouping to decide what to do next.
The city applied for the Restore New York Communities Initiative grant money from the Empire State Development Corp. in September.
However, the city’s application didn’t match up against other municipal plans in the competitive process and the state didn’t have enough money to fund all the projects, said Stefanie Zakowicz, an Empire State Development Corp. spokeswoman.
“There was $286 million in funding requested and there was only $100 million available. So unfortunately, that means there’s a lot more people wanting a piece of the pie than we could feed,” she said.
Here’s what the city had planned to do with the grant money:
Give about $1.1 million to the Cayuga County Arts Council to continue restoring the historic Schine Theater on South Street.
Use $215,000 to demolish the vacant, city-owned Kalet’s Building on State Street, which stands between several buildings that the Stardust Foundation plans to redevelop into a “creative corridor.”
Dole out $434,000 to private developer Glenn Fletcher, who is renovating the former Disciples of Christ Church on North Division Street into a hall for business conferences, weddings and other social events.
City Manager Mark Palesh initially balked at adding Fletcher’s request to the application, telling councilors he thought doing so would weaken the city’s chances of getting the grant. He held to that position Wednesday but said he was unsure as to why the city’s application ultimately failed.
Auburn received $1.8 million from the same program the year before to help a local developer build upscale condominiums on Logan Street.
The overall goal of the state grant program is to revitalize urban centers, induce commercial reinvestment and improve municipal housing stock, Zakowicz said.
“So priority was given to projects that could best leverage other state or federal redevelopment money, projects with plans fully in place and projects (that will) start within a year of grant funding,” she added.
The county Arts Council had hoped to use the money to reopen the Schine lobby to the public and build a media arts interpretative center and retail store.
Susan Harris, the council’s executive director, said she’s disappointed at not getting the money but said her group will keep trying to raise the estimated $7.7 million needed to reopen the Art-Deco theater.
“We just have to keep plugging along. … We have a big job to get people on board with what we’re doing. That will be our focus,” Harris said.
Scott Rapp can be reached at
As President of Theatre Historical Society of America (www.historictheatres.org) I visited the State in mid-November after reading the article mentioned above. The town has just 1600 people! Yet their dedication and commitment to their little theater should make other communities hang their heads in shame. I met some of their senior volunteer team members – all passionate, dedicated and conscientious people. The town really rallies behind the theater and works hard to support it. That little theater has flooded, burned, collapsed and been burglarized and yet each time they fix it up, dust if off and keep right on going. BRAVO!! These folks should be commended for their loving care of the State Theater!
Oh… my….. god. <gasp> <sob>
Warning – video tour of the theater, as it looks today, is not for the weak of heart.
And to think that this used to be a Hulskin. Something tells me, he wouldn’t understand.
If you could see closely the design and patterns of the walls immediately adjacent to the proscenium and the ceiling, you would see that they bear a striking resemblance to the design and patterns of the Auburn Schine Theater, a once-remarkable outer space atmospheric from John Eberson. It was almost as if Eberson “practiced” on the walls of the Lane before taking the designs to the full stage of the Auburn.
Gee, you should have just asked ME Patsy! : ) The “folks of Geneva” neglected this wonderful architectural treasure for a very long time. They, of course, had nothing to do with the hideous mid- 60s re-do of the facade which removed that wonderful marquee, it was the subsequent owners after the Schine chain was dissolved who made the changes. Once Geneva woke up and realized what they had, it was almost too late. But, thanks to the efforts of a core group of people who were not about to let it go down for a parking lot. Today’s theater facade is a throwback to the old opera house while the interior is 100% Schine. A fair compromise, i guess – but i still fought hard for a REAL marquee to go back on it.
That issue was mailed from Elmhurst on 10/20. Bulk mail might be cheap, but it’s “expensive” in other ways. Drop me a line at
Which gives me a chance to reiterate that if anyone else is interested in a copy of the latest Marquee magazine, just go to www.historictheatres.org and order one for yourself! The issue also includes a great article on projection methods over the years and a piece on the home museum of the late Jim Foley of Syracuse NY. (Shameless THS promotion – yeah i know!)
Hey Lost Memory… can you drop me a line at
Wow, that was quick! Thanks, William, for confirming my thoughts. The term “art deco” does cover a wide variety of styles and eras, but this is definitely not one of them! : )
Question: Why does everyone keep saying this is an “art deco” house? Looking at the website and the virtual tour this seems to be a classical Lansburgh house. What do you all think makes it “deco”? Just curious – it is such a subjective thing!
That post is from May 3, 2006 if you want to look up the whole post.
THIS IS EXCEPTED FROM A PREVIOUS POST BY NATIVE FOREST HILLER:
… CM Katz’s flip-flop of decisions is particularly disturbing in the Trylon case, since she opposed landmarking, then publicly stated her support, and then said she never felt it was suitable. She made no effort to encourage the LPC to calendar it. LPC won’t act without strong political support.She has the power, since she’s the Chair of Land Use. How can an elected official choose to suit her own interests, and mislead her constituents rather than serve them?
The Committee To Save The Trylon Theater & the community communicated. It was Melinda Katz who failed (to meet after promising, respond to letters, etc)! The effort isn’t over. Will her lack of intervention in this scenario be an obstacle in other neighborhood preservation efforts? Let’s continue to bond together for the benefit of the community, and not let this happen. “Power to the people!!!!!” ……
HOPE THIS SHEDS SOME LIGHT. YOU MIGHT NOT WANT TO SEE WHAT IT’S SHINING ON, BUT THIS IS THE SAD TRUTH.
My thoughts exactly PKoch – let her constituents fill in those blanks! Not for me to say. :X Ditto on the current status.
See? No matter how bad, there is always something worse! : D
Hmmm…. yes. Isn’t it ironic…. : (
Thank you all so much for your suggestions! It seems like i can’t travel any distance without first trying to find out what little treasures i might be passing along the way.
Have a great weekend, all! : )
If you were to consider Ohio, the beautiful (but endangered) Norwalk Theater in Norwalk Ohio is available immediately. It is still in good shape, but the current owners took on more than they bargained for and have not been able to keep it up to the high standards of the previous owners. Therefore, additional neglect to basic maintenance is going to take a quick toll unless someone moves in fast!
THS visited this theater on their 2007 Conclave this summer. Very friendly welcome from the staff – very interesting theater, inside and out!
The next issue of Theatre Historical Society’s quarterly journal MARQUEE will have a piece on the Trylon, written by Trylon advocate Michael Perlman. Copies can be ordered by non members at www.historictheatres.org or better yet JOIN and get them delivered automatically to your mailbox!
Along with the Seneca Street “Geneva” and the demolished Exchange St. “Temple”, the Regent was one of the 3 Schine Chain theaters in Geneva. This was actually Schine’s first Geneva house and they operated out of it during the renovation of the former Smith’s Opera House into the Schine Geneva Theater. That magnificent Italianate garden atmospheric still stands beautifully restored today.
Sadly, insensitive plexing cost this theater most of its architectural elements and charachter. I recall that in the balcony screen area one can see a lot of decorative plaster and some other elements behind the screen. (Yes, that’s what we theater nuts do when we get into these plexed theaters — peek behind curtains, screens and the like!) Although all are coated with several layers of paint.
Hopefully, some kind of respectful reuse can be found. It is probably too late to return it to its original design and style. But i do hope that those who spearhead this project will at least attempt to research and replace some of the original decor. Just let me know when you need some help, Cara Leigh! : )