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Hidden Treasures of the Scranton Cultural Center

SCRANTON — The Scranton Cultural Center is an enormous building that has almost 100 rooms inside.

Even if you’ve been to shows or a wedding there, there are some hidden treasures you may not know about.

We got a behind the scenes tour to check out some of the Cultural Center’s secret spots!

The doors officially opened in 1930.

The building was designed by Raymond Hood, the same architect behind Radio City Music Hall and Rockefeller Center in New York City.

John Cardoni has been the Facility and Technical Director for 13 years.

He offered to take us behind the scenes, literally.

Cardoni took us backstage in Shopland Hall on the fourth floor, explaining, “This is a 1930’s resistance dimmer board that controls the lighting for our fourth floor space, Shopland Hall and theater. To the far left you see what passed for headset communications back then, a carbon phone.”

He also showed us the Center’s two pipe organs. No digital or electronic organs here! The Scranton¬†Cultural Center has one of the largest pipe organs in the nation that’s still in operation. The pipes are huge, and hidden behind the walls.

John took us behind and above the stage of the main theater to get a look.

“When you’re physically moving air through a pipe, there is a physical sensation that you, as the listener, will hear because there’s air moving around you,” said Cardoni.

The next time you’re in the Cultural Center, make sure you look up.¬†

You’ll notice a pattern that changes depending on your location.

“As we descend floor to floor, that blossom blooms. You don’t readily notice it because the decorative arts around it change from floor to floor, too in terms of how the plaster ceilings were approached,” said Cardoni.

So we’ve got hidden patterns in the ceilings.

What about hidden passageways? Yep, there’s one of those, too.

“There is no other way out of this room. Unless you go through here and into the stairs to the next level. It goes to our second floor, to the lobby and to the main stairs and out,” said Cardoni.

The kitchen is equipped with original Edison ovens and ice boxes, which were still used up until 2002!

The addition of a modern kitchen means this space is now used as storage.

But the 1920’s dumbwaiters still remain, and provide a much easier way to send food or cameras upstairs!



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