Penn Can Mall 3
5885 East Circle Drive,
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Cinema National opened what was the nothern suburbs of Syracuse’s first multi-screen theatre on Wednesday June 23, 1976 on the second level of the three month old Penn Can Mall. For its first ten years the theatre had virtually no competition in the northern suburbs (except for a smattering of drive-ins), and stayed busy, even as it changed hands from CinemaNational to USA Cinemas and finally Loews. The theatre continued with stong business through the 1986 opening of the Loews six-plex at the nearby Great Northern Mall as well as the 1990 opening of the Hoyts twelve-plex at Carousel Center in Syracuse.
The opening of the Carousel Center took away substantial business from Penn Can, and the mall quickly lost tennants. Even though business was declining at the mall, Loews stayed with the theatre until 1993. On Saturday March 13, the theatre unknowingly played its last shows when the following morning the famous “Blizzard of ‘93” caused the roof to fail near the mall’s center court on the first floor. Town of Cicero Codes Enforcement officials would not let the complex reopen until repairs were completed (they feared the additional weight of people in the theatre would cause further collapse). Loews initially planned to reopen the theatre, but they eventually changed their mind and the theatre remained closed until 2004 when it was gutted to be converted into the conference center for the Driver’s Village Auto Mall.
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