Slice of Life

Landmark Theater hosts annual Halloween celebration, Zombie Ball

Emmy Gnat | Contributing Illustrator

KROCK's Zombie Ball is happening Friday at 8 p.m. Participants are encouraged to dress up in costume for the party.

Teeming masses of the living dead are heading downtown this weekend to haunt Syracuse the only way they know how: at a theme party in a haunted theater.

The costumed creatures are set to pay a visit to the haunted Landmark Theatre Friday, for the fourth annual KROCK Zombie Ball, an annual Halloween celebration. The event will take place from 8 p.m. until midnight. Tickets are $10 at the door.

Local radio station KROCK hosts the event year after year to promote the station and have some horror-inspired fun.

“It’s a quick hop down from the hill, and it literally is probably the biggest Halloween party in Syracuse this weekend,” Marissa Greenlar, brand manager at KROCK said, laughing. “In my unbiased opinion.”

The event includes a costume competition, psychic readings, zombie-themed beverages, tattoo artists to do makeup, an art gallery, a food truck, and live music all night long. Guests will also be able to experience a “Night of the Living Dead” silent musical at the event.

For SU students back on campus, especially in greek life, Halloween weekend is “social blackout” for Family Weekend, meaning there are no social greek events. Josh Tingley, a senior chemistry major, said this event offers more than just what is happening on campus, and that may drive people to the event.

Junior English and textual studies major Siara Ramirez agreed.

“I feel like there’s more than just getting drunk,” she said. “There’s a lot of activities to do, like the Escape Room, if you’re not interested in dancing or drinking.”

This year’s newest attraction is the traveling Escape Room at the Landmark, and is the brainchild of Frightmare Farms in Palermo, NY. The Escape Room locks users into a room, requiring them to solve puzzles under a 15 minute time limit in order to escape it.

Mike Intaglietta, general manager of the Landmark Theatre, said the architecture of the Landmark perfectly fits the idea of a zombie party — it’s special because “it’s hard to replicate,” he said.

While bars in the area will be hosting their own Halloween-themed events, Greenlar said the event will combine its scope and historic location into one huge celebration that is unique to Syracuse.

Zombie Ball is an event geared towards a younger crowd, Intaglietta said, and the event gives the 85-year-old theater the chance to reach out to the 20-something crowd.

Intaglietta explained the age of the venue adds a level of creepiness to the entire event, making the event as much fun to put on as it is to attend.

“The lore of horror and ghosts lends a certain air for Halloween festivities,” Intaglietta said. “Halloween festivities are a popular season for events at the Landmark.”

The Landmark hosts a number of Halloween-themed activities throughout the month of October, including a ghost hunt earlier last week. Greenlar said there are a number of spirits residing in the theater, including the spirit of a young girl. The allure of attending a Halloween party with the presence of real spirits is another selling point of the Landmark Theatre.

The theater also plans to play on this fact by unveiling the spirit of Harambe, a gorilla who was famously shot by zookeepers earlier in this year after a child fell into his pen. The gorilla has since become an internet icon.

KROCK put up a pre-party video of the famed “Zombe Harambe” on their Facebook event, showing the animal romping around the theater. Greenlar said they put up the video to give their guests a tasting of what the night might be like.

Pop culture always makes a special appearance at Halloween parties, something they continue to build upon. Last year’s costumes included a dead mermaid, a dead lumberjack, a dead Marilyn Monroe, Ghostbusters and even dead Minions — just to name a few.

Last year’s KROCK Zombie Ball drew a crowd of 500 people, and the creators are no less ambitious this year with their lineup of Halloween events.

While the recommended dress code is deathly zombie, costumes shouldn’t be a huge matter of concern at the KROCK Zombie Ball.

“Basically, if you come and throw blood on something, you’ll fit in,” Greenlar said.


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