Paramount Theatre

612 Main Street,
Buffalo, NY 14202

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Fox Circuit, Paramount-Publix, Shea Theatres

Architects: Leon H. Lempert, Jr.

Styles: Spanish Renaissance, Streamline Moderne

Previous Names: Fox Great Lakes Theatre, Shea's Great Lakes Theatre, Great Lakes Theatre

Nearby Theaters

Paramont Theater, Buffalo N.Y.

The Fox Great Lakes Theatre had two entrances, one 612 Main Street the other at 9 W. Chippewa Street. It was opened on May 30, 1927 with George O' Brien in “Is Zat So?” plus vaudeville on its stage. It was equipped with a Wurlitzer 3 manual 11 ranks organ. It was closed February 20, 1965 and demolition of the auditorium began March 2, 1965. The front section and lobby on Main Street were retained.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 143 comments)

tlstech
tlstech on March 20, 2012 at 7:25 pm

I have done a lot of work on the building; reading the comments has put a lot of pieces of the puzzle together for me. The original framework still stands, as do the arched window openings facing Main St. The interior was demolished when the furniture company took over the entire space after the the Paramount closed, and a steel structure was erected to place floors in the large void left by the auditorium. When City Centre condos were built in the early 90s, the steel structure was reinforced to support the addition of four more stories. Then the whole exterior was re-skinned. Examining the steel and concrete on the middle floors, there are still ancient electrical conduits and fixture boxes from the theatre/warehouse days.

Some of the workers involved the in demolition many years ago salvaged one of the 35mm projectors, at this writing it sits in my dining room.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on March 20, 2012 at 8:49 pm

Some of the workers involved the in demolition many years ago salvaged one of the 35mm projectors, at this writing it sits in my dining room.

Your wife must be thrilled!

tlstech
tlstech on March 21, 2012 at 3:12 pm

Its actually in nice shape, quite the conversation piece.

tlstech
tlstech on September 8, 2012 at 6:14 pm

Found a great article about the theater (with interior photo!). Here is the link:

http://archives.buffalorising.com/story/then_and_now_massive_change#sca

Wurlitzer1773
Wurlitzer1773 on March 6, 2014 at 11:42 am

Just an update on this theatre’s Wurlitzer Opus 1616 shipped from the Wurlitzer factory in April 1927. This instrument passed to at least 2 other owners before being purchased in 2013 and shipped to FL for installation in a private residence. All original pipework has been retained. The unique console (with typewriter keys for the sound effects) was long gone before the organ was purchased by the new owners. I was told that the blower was started for the first this Sunday March 2nd and that the instrument will be playing before too long.

Aaronmills
Aaronmills on September 6, 2014 at 3:26 pm

The theater auditorium was demolished, however, the ticket lobby, the booth, and the stair hall were intact behind plywood until 1980s years after the auditorium fell. The booth was removed to a restaurant in the building abutting Sheas. The transom glass, lobby chandelier, wall sconces left about the same time. All decorative parts were taken out before the condo conversion

markhn
markhn on September 12, 2015 at 8:00 pm

The name Great Lakes was selected in a contest and the winners split a cash prize.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on August 27, 2019 at 6:25 pm

Paramount and other theatres in this link.

http://www.forgottenbuffalo.com/buffalospoloniahistory.html

dallasmovietheaters
dallasmovietheaters on May 27, 2022 at 3:31 am

The Great Lakes Theater launched with William Fox in the house. on May 30, 1927 opening with George O'Brien in “Is Zat So?” supported by a Fox newsreel and various Amalgamated Vaudeville acts. Opening ad in photos along with an ad for its Wurlitzer organ.

rivest266
rivest266 on June 2, 2022 at 3:22 pm

Joined Shea’s on September 4th, 1931. Grand opening ad posted.

50 years of Shea’s

Shea's 50th anniversaryShea’s 50th anniversary 02 Sep 1931, Wed Buffalo Evening News (Buffalo, New York) Newspapers.com

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