Corner of South Warren and East Genesee Streets, Syracuse, New York | Unmarked Location
On Saturday, March 9, 1895, freethought orator Robert Green Ingersoll delivered one of his most controversial lectures, "The Holy Bible," at the Bastable Theatre in downtown Syracuse.
Rebuilt in 1893 by architect Archimedes Russell following a devastating fire, the Bastable Block office building was anchored by the Bastable Theatre. Theatre entrepreneur Frederick Bastable, flushed with the success of his Wieting Opera House and Grand Theatres, launched a third under his own name. The facility achieved full success when local promoter Sam Shubert took over its management—launching the Shubert dynasty still influential on Broadway today.
The building was again destroyed by fire on February 12, 1923.
This colored postcard image includes the theater marquee, at center right.
This 1893 etching shows the Bastable Block and Theatre as they appeared upon opening. At this time the theater marquee had not yet been installed.
A program for Bastable Theatre presentations the week of March 14, 1898.
A newspaper ad promoting an Ingersoll Syracuse lecture. Reclaimed from microform by Doug Schiffer. The prices charged for admission to Ingersoll's lecture were well in excess of the Bastable's usual prices of 10 cents (gallery), 20 cents (balcony), and 30 cents (orchestra).