Shea's Performing Arts Center

646 Main Street,
Buffalo, NY 14202

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 23, 2020 at 12:08 pm

I don’t seen any links in previous comments to this video about the restoration of Shea’s Buffalo, posted at YouTube in 2014. It’s worth a look, with lots of interesting details. I had no idea, for example, that the interior decoration was done by Tiffany Studios.

LouB on November 20, 2018 at 3:30 pm

Screening Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone on the big screen with the Buffalo Philarmonic performing the score from the film on Feb.21-22.

DavidZornig on November 19, 2018 at 2:13 pm

1976 photo added credit Vintage Buffalo NY Facebook page.

DavidZornig on March 14, 2015 at 3:48 pm

1959 photo added courtesy of the AmeriCar The Beautiful Facebook page.

tinton on November 15, 2014 at 12:11 pm

Do you have any record of what was showing on October 25, 1924?
Thank you,

LouB on September 10, 2013 at 7:03 am


This link deals with restoration being done at Sheas.

LouB on September 13, 2012 at 7:24 am


The article above deals with restoration at Sheas.

LouB on April 14, 2012 at 11:13 am


The link above deals with Shea’s screening of the classic horror film, “Phantom of the Opera”, with accompaniment by the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra.

LouB on March 16, 2012 at 2:23 pm


This link looks as Sheas success as a performing arts center.

showstager on March 15, 2012 at 3:12 pm

Some have asked about the history of the theatre in the 1970’s and about Loews. Here are some comments from one of the folks who saved the theatre back then….me… The theatre was managed by Loew’s and owend by Leon Lawrence Sidell. Sidell failed to pay his taxes and the city called in the default and took the theatre. Loews continued to operate the theatre for a period of time and then decided to leave. Prior to that, they were planning to strip the theatre of its fixtures, furniture, organ, etc., and they had done to other theatres. The Friends of the Buffalo, led by Curt Mangel, got a court order to stop them, and, in a landmark decision, the court ruled that Loews had no right to strip the theatre and Loews left without their booty. To this day, many of the fixtures/furniture have a serial number that was put on them to inventory them, that was done in the middle of several nights without Loews knowledge, to prevent them from stripping the building. Without the 15 original Friends, this never would have been possible.

LouB on April 17, 2011 at 4:51 pm

I enjoyed seeing the classic film The Sound of Music on the big screen at Shea’s. It was quite an experience and it was nice to see so many families in attendance.

Brad Smith
Brad Smith on February 7, 2011 at 8:03 pm

This photograph of the Shea’s Buffalo Theatre was taken in 1930 by George Mann of the comedy dance team, Barto and Mann.

Don Lewis
Don Lewis on December 14, 2010 at 10:26 pm

From the 1950s a night time photo postcard view of Main Street along with the Buffalo, Paramount and Shea’s Cinema Theaters in Buffalo.

Don Lewis
Don Lewis on October 19, 2010 at 8:30 am

From the late 1950s a photo postcard that captured a view of the Buffalo and Paramount Theatres in downtown Buffalo.

LouB on June 8, 2010 at 6:19 pm

I had the opportunity to tour the projection booth. The projectors still use carbon arc bulbs which project a better quality film.

TLSLOEWS on June 8, 2010 at 12:37 pm

Thanks for the info ziggy.

Ziggy on June 8, 2010 at 9:04 am

tsloews, this was known as “Loew’s Buffalo” when I was growing up, and I think that’s how it was known at the time of its closing.

TLSLOEWS on February 11, 2010 at 11:31 am

I was going to ask it this was ever a LOEWS house,but I saw it in another post.Pictures of marquee and vertical look like LOEWS style.

LouB on December 31, 2009 at 8:38 pm

View link

The above website states that the stage size has been doubled.

prose on December 31, 2009 at 5:23 pm

When it opened, it’s stage was 66 ft wide, 50 ft high and 32 ft deep. It seems during recent renovations, it was enlarged. Does anybody know the new dimensions?

arl on December 16, 2009 at 5:13 pm

Some early Buffalo history. Opening day and night attendance was 25,000. The first feature was
“The Melting Pot” with Adolph Menjou. A 45 piece orchestra provided the music. Available for
opening night patrons were a women’s smoking room, a first aid room with a nurse, and a women's
cosmetic room. Up to 50 ushers were available each day. Ushers wore patent leather shoes, and
the head ushers carried swagger sticks. Seats were 30 cents till 1:00, 40 cents from 1:00-5:00, and
65 cents after 5:00. The Buffalo was Sheas fourth theater, after the Hippodrome, North Park, and
having once owned the Court St. He also had 2 theaters in Toronto. Vincent McFaul was the first
manager, and after Shea died in 1935, he ran the whole organization. Through the 1920s and
1930s, the Buffalo had the finest stage shows and revues in the city. Needless to say all the movie
features were first run. Close to 90,000 people might visit the theater in a really good week.
I’ll give some more post 1930s history, when I find the rest of my notes.

spectrum on August 26, 2009 at 12:48 pm

According to the above article, they are replacing all the carpeting throughout the theatre will replicas of the five original designs/colors – basded on Louis Tiffany’s original sketches in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and a single surviving piece of original cartpet. Much of it has already been installed, with the rest to be completed by opening gala on September 11, 2009. They are also replacing the m,essage board with a new LED-based one, and doing exterior painting.

LouB on August 17, 2009 at 8:34 am

View link

The above website deals with renovations at the theatre.

wmjlambert on May 6, 2009 at 8:29 am

i am always stunned that in any history of the theater and the shea’s chain the mention of Vincent McFaul is almost always omitted. He was the General Manager from the first day until his death in 1955. Further, he worked for Michael Shea from the age of 12 and was President of the chain from 1930 until 1955, which was one of the more storied eras of the now defunct chain.

MPol on May 3, 2009 at 11:30 am

Btw—I read the above article about the Sheas Theatre with much interest and enjoyment. Thanks, LOUB.