Biograph Theatre

214 E. Fayette Street,
Syracuse, NY 13202

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Greenpoint on September 20, 2012 at 8:15 pm

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!

dianneA on August 1, 2012 at 12:31 pm

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

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 1, 2011 at 4:52 am

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.

TLSLOEWS on May 4, 2010 at 12:08 pm

Another one gone.

carljohnson on November 19, 2008 at 9:23 am

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:

joemasher on November 14, 2008 at 12:02 pm

The Biograph was the Eckel’s final name. I believe a fire did it in.

carljohnson on January 26, 2008 at 9:15 am

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?

SWFLguy on November 17, 2007 at 4:41 pm

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.

kencmcintyre on September 8, 2007 at 4:49 pm

Here is a 1949 ad from the Post-Standard:

RJT70mm on July 10, 2007 at 7:27 am

George Raaflaub was chief projectionist at the Eckel for many years. When I first started as a projectionist I hung around the booth with George and he’d let me run those magnificent Norelcos.

SWFLguy on June 9, 2007 at 5:51 pm

I remember going to a few “foreign films” at the Eckel. I also saw a couple Cinerama films there.
My family knew the guy who was the projectionist there for years—cannot recall his name.
The Eckel was one of the hidden gems of the downtown Syracuse cinema scene.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on May 16, 2007 at 3:39 pm

Found. An OLD TATTERED PROMOTIONAL POSTCARD of the Eckel Theatre from 1919. Printed text on message side:
Mary Pickford in “The Hoodlum"
Miss Pickford Appearing in an Altogether Unusual Role,
Unique in the Annals of Films.


Six years ago, Thanksgiving Day, 1913—-to be exact—-the Eckel opened its doors as Syracuse’s Foremost Pictureplay House. It offered then, as it does now, the best there was in Pictures; pictures that were different. This policy has been more than maintained—-it has been made perfect. Remember the last Mary Pickford picture “Daddy Long Legs?” Well, Mary is here to help celebrate Anniversary Week, beginning Sunday, November 23rd, in her very latest picture “The Hoodlum.” We expect you too.
Very truly yours,

kencmcintyre on December 16, 2006 at 12:03 pm

The Eckel seems to have had many closings and re-openings. I saw one in 1927, and another in 1936, according to this article from the Syracuse Herald:

Eckel Theater To Open Doors Friday Night

The R-K-O Schine Theaters in Syracuse Friday start a triple celebration to usher in the 1936-37 greater show season. The celebration will embrace the reopening of the Eckel Theater, the first anniversary of the combined R-K-0 Schine theater operation, and the showing, at Keith’s, of the cinematic version of Hervey Allen’s modern classic, “Anthony Adverse,” considered one of the outstanding pictures of the year.

The Eckel Theater will be formally opened at ‘6 o'clock Friday as Governor Lehman presses a button in the executive mansion in Albany to part the curtains over the screen and as
Mayor Marvin, in Syracuse, puts the sound equipment in operation in this theater, which has been completely remodeled, redecorated and refurbished at a cost of over $70,000.

Described as the most luxurious theater in this part of the State, the Eckel decorative scheme is modernistic with a collegiate touch, which is given by orange and blue colors predominating â€" those of Syracuse University. The sound reproducing equipment is said to rank with the finest in any theater In America. Supplied and installed by the Radio Corporation of America, it has been adapted to the requirements of the Eckel so as to provide uniform reception in every part of the house.

In Syracuse for the reopening of the Eckel are Fred Myers, booking manager R-K-O Theaters; Nate Blumberg, general manager of R-K-O Theaters; J. M. Schine, president of the Schine Theaters and L. W. Schine, general manager of the Schine Theaters. In speaking of the reopening of the Eckel, J. M. Schine stresses the fact that the Eckel is a theater dedicated to the people of Syracuse and Central New York and to the students of Syracuse University.

The opening will include a radio broadcast from the front of the theater between 6:15 and 6:30, the use of floodlights, short speeches, and music by a full orchestra. Sharing tbe Syracuse Rialto’s spotlight with the Eckel in this gala celebration are the other R-K-O-Schine houses here, the Paramount, the Strand and Keith’s. Each has been made ready to provide outstanding entertainment for their patrons during the new show season.

More than $l5,000 has been spent in Keith’s theater alone to assure greater enjoyment and conveniences for moviegoers. Improvements include a new life-size screen, new, improved sound equipment, new tapestries and drapes, completely remodeled and redecorated lounging rooms and new carpeting throughout the theater.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on December 16, 2006 at 10:02 am

Film Daily Yearbooks list the seating capacity in the 1941 & 1943 editions as 1,452 (operated by RKO Theaters). In the 1950 edition of F.D.Y. it is listed with 1,407 seats and operated by Schine Circuit, Inc.

kencmcintyre on December 16, 2006 at 9:38 am

G. David Schine, scion of the Schine family and seen on the far right side of the bottom picture, is often linked with Roy Cohn during the McCarthy hearings in the early 1950s. There were rumors of an improper relationship between the two men, which apparently were groundless as the photo also shows Mrs. G. David Schine.