DiCesare-Engler announced a deal to take over operations at the Syria Mosque in June of 1984 after their move from the Stanley Theatre. The Syria Mosque, despite having few bookings in the summer heat, was one of the top 10 grossing theatres in the country until its demolition in 1991.
The Syria Mosque was a venue in the Oakland community of Pittsburgh that existed from 1916-1991.
Pat DiCesare commented in his May 10, 2010 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article:"When I became involved in the music business in the late '50s, all concerts were held at the 3,700-seat-capacity Syria Mosque in Oakland or the 2,000-seat Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall across the street.
Surprisingly in the early days of rock, it was difficult for one act to sell out these small venues, and promoters often had a hard time dealing with management at these venues, who preferred any act over a rock act because of potential noise and other problems.
There were other issues. Although the Syria Mosque was considered the
prime venue for all types of concerts, it didn't have air conditioning
and often was too hot during the summer to host shows."
Pat DiCesare, through his production companies "University Attractions" and "Pat DiCesare Productions" had an exclusivity agreement with The Syria Mosque for booking rock acts in the 60s and 70s. Tim Tormey at DiCesare often promoted their "Shower of Stars" shows at The Syria Mosque in the 60s and 70s.
(Pete Townshend pictured here during performance on October 26, 1969 by The Who)
When DiCesare-Engler owned and operated The Stanley Theatre in downtown Pittsburgh from 1977-1984 most of the rock concert dates were shifted away from The Mosque in favor of The Stanley.
After DiCesare-Engler sold The Stanley to the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust in 1984, they were hired to take over operations at The Syria Mosque. DiCesare-Engler booked everything from rock concerts to broadway shows at The Mosque as they did at The Stanley. Although few concerts were booked during the summer season (The Syria Mosque was not air conditioned), The Syria Mosque was a top 10 grossing theatre under DiCesare-Engler management.
The theatre suffered an unfortunate end in 1991 when the Shriners sold the venue to the University of Pittsburgh for $10 million dollars. Despite heavy criticism Pitt demolished the building and planned to build over the site. Today it is a parking lot.