214 E. Fayette Street,
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Previously operated by: RKO, Schine Circuit Inc.
Architects: C. Merritt Curtis
Previous Names: Eckel Theatre, Eckel Cinerama
News About This Theater
- Mar 31, 2013 — "2001: A Space Odyssey" 45th Anniversary – The Cinerama Engagements
- Dec 9, 2012 — Happy 50th, “Lawrence of Arabia”
- Oct 24, 2010 — "The Alamo"...Happy 50th!
- Oct 6, 2010 — Happy 50th, "Spartacus"
- Oct 30, 2009 — Happy 50th, "Sleeping Beauty"
- Nov 14, 2008 — Remembering Cinerama (Part XI: Syracuse)
The Eckel Theatre opened on Thanksgiving Day, 1913 with 1,452 seats. It would later be operated by RKO, then Schine Circuit Inc. who later converted it into a 3-strip Cinerama theatre, reducing the seating capacity to 918.
It was renamed Biograph Theatre on December 4, 1974. It was closed on November 24. 1976 with Micheal Sarrazin in “The Gumball Rally” & David Carradine in “Death Race 2000”. It was demolished and the site became a parking lot for the church next door.
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Recent comments (view all 17 comments)
Thanks for jogging my memory—it was indeed George Raaflaub. I met him and his wife in Redfield NY where I went fishing with my parents who knew him. The Raaflaub’s had a camp near there and we met at the Ben Lewis house (Falvey’s) for food and drinks. Those were good times.
Does anyone know the exact location of the Eckel? It seems to have been on the same block as the Biograph — was that a separate theater, or was the Biograph its final name?
The Biograph was the Eckel’s final name. I believe a fire did it in.
Thanks, Joe. Unfortunately, I never got to go inside; I arrived in Syracuse just as it was being torn down.
There’s a picture of the demolition here:
Another one gone.
The October 30, 1912, issue of The American Architect said that the proposed theater on Fayette Street in Syracuse would be operated under a long term lease by the Eckel Company. Plans for the project, by architect C. Merritt Curtis, were almost complete.
My father, Bill Meany was the Projectionish along with George Raaflaub. My father worked there for many many years until he died in 1966. Does anyone remember him? I saw many movies from the projection booth, Ben Hur, My Fair Lady…. I do remember cinerama too
Sadly this sort of thing happens…I am a frequent visitor to The Palace and thank heaven that it is still open and operating at its full glory!
Link with history and Cinerama photos.
It became the Biograph Theatre on December 4, 1974 with “Slaughterhouse Five.” It closed on November 24, 1976 with “The Gumball Rally” and “Death Race 2000.” It was razed in 1984.