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That “new” theatre is the Princess of Wales theatre. The Mirvishes, under the corporate banner of Mirvish Productions, also operates the historic Pantages theatre in downtown Toronto (now renamed the Canon theatre after it’s current sponsor). Ed Mirvish is probably best known for his bargain emporium “Honest Ed’s” with it’s corny sayings plastered all over both the interior and exterior of the building. It was the success of that enterprise which eventually allowed him to pursue his theatrical interests beginning with the Royal Alex.
Ed Mirvish, who purchased the Royal Alexandra theatre in 1962 thus saving it from demolition, passed away this week at age 92. His contributions to the arts and entertainment in Toronto will be sadly missed.
Hmm, I’m thinking that if this was Fire Island instead of the Catskills, the rough translation as “man flesh” or “Meatman” could mean something entirely different ;–).
Patsy: I recall reading that the parrot (stuffed bird variety) was a trade mark or a tongue-in-cheek joke that Eberson included in his atmospheric theatres. As busy as his atmospheric interiors were/are, the difficulty is in locating the parrot in the finished design. It could be perched almost anywhere. Also, he was known to present a bag of bird seed to the theatre owner(s) (to feed the parrot, of course).
Don’t ask me why, but I’ve always associated the tune “Der Fuehrer’s Face” as having been performed by Spike Jones and his City Slickers. It was the type of thing they would have done.
Tsk, tsk, Patsy. You should know that the Wurlitzer factory was in NORTH Tonawanda, not Tonawanda. The locals would never forgive you for that :). Although Wurlitzer vacated their building many decades ago, until fairly recently another organ company occupied a portion of the complex.
The definitive 1925 silent version of Phantom starring Lon Chaney Sr. did indeed have a musical score. I’ve seen that restored version including the music at an historic local theatre (which dates from 1907) a couple of years ago. It would have been fun seeing it at the Tampa theatre however.
An article in today’s Wpg Sun follows up the tv report saying that CanadInns has bought the Met for the seemingly bargain basement price of $100,000. However, the projected restoration/renovation costs are estimated to run around $10 million.
Ken: Hopefully you can complete your photo/documentation of the theatre before any renovations are carried out. Perhaps you can also find some hint of the original theatre organ chambers. A pipe organ was installed when it was built but no record has surfaced about it’s removal.
According to a CTV-tv news report this evening, Centre Venture has sold the Met to CanadInns. The way the report was worded is that it’s already a done deal. The report went on to say that CanadInns intends to create an entertainment complex out of the long closed theatre with a possible emphasis on rock ‘n’ roll in the mix. Since the theatre is listed as a heritage site one has to wonder what plans are included that will guarantee and preserve the heritage aspect.
Umm, read between the lines in the BIFF blurb. It is only some wishful thinking to create interest in restoring this theatre. No concrete plan appears to be currently in place to undertake such a project.
TShaffer: By clicking on the box “Notify me when someone replies to my comment” means that you will be notified whenever a comment is posted on this theatre site, whether the comment is meant for you directly or not.
Yes, it is. This is another duplicate listing for Buffalo area theatres.
The Amherst 3 aleady has a listing on Cinema Treasures, although the address given is 3500 Main St, Amherst NY. In actual fact I believe it is within Buffalo city limits.
I would have thought that the Andrews Sisters were still popular well into the 50’s at least and then faded away, but perhaps my memory is failing me.
It was the introduction of the ice shows that led to the ruination of the Roxy theatre organ. The melting ice leaked through the stage floor into the organ chambers which were located under the stage and severely damaged it.
By rights your comments about the Walker belong on that page. Possibly someone from the theatre’s management might see them and take heed. I’ll add one of my own though. I got the impression that the Walker operation is ‘winging it’ and they really don’t have their stuff together. That’s the impression I was left with when I was there.
Bway guessed right. That’s exactly what it stands for. Also, don’t forget the vertical sign on the building had the name “God’s Holy Temple” on it. At what point did that congregation occupy the premises? Before or after Joy Temple…or were they one and the same?
In one group of photos of the theatre there is a vertical sign on the building (since removed). The name on the sign is “God’s Holy Temple”. They were possibly the most recent occupants since the “Order to vacate the premises” posted on the building by the Buffalo buildings department was against the Temple.
Patsy: Sattlers department store was located at 998 Broadway (actually the address was 1000, but for whatever reason 998 always prevailed and was promoted in countless commercials and jingles over the years). It was a Buffalo institution. It and Eckhardts are now only a memory, along with many other east side businesses. About the only thing left that is still operating is the Broadway market. Over the years I’ve heard countless plans put forward to revive interest in the east side and the Broadway-Fillmore neighborhood, but all have died on the vine. One previous city administration managed to coerce K-Mart into building a store on the site of the old Sattlers store. I’m not sure now if the city offered K-Mart a financial incentive to make the deal more attractive. However, eventually that also failed and the store sits abandoned.
Patsy: The theatre has been abandoned for a long time now. The religious group that last occupied it couldn’t afford to maintain it. Anything left vacant on Buffalo’s east side is ripe for vandalism and/or arson. It has been repeatedly broken into, regardless of the fact that it was posted as off-limits by the Police department. A trip through that part of town would soon convince you that any hope of restoration is futile. There are countless abandoned buildings and weed strewn vacant lots all through the area…not a pretty sight!
The Park was purchased in 1930 by Rudolph Besler who immediately upgraded the theatre for talkies. It underwent at least two remodellings during the years while owned by the Beslers. Original seating capacity was 729. The current V shaped marquee has existed at least since the late 1940’s. Under their ownership the Park was an independently run mom & pop venue. Late run double features were shown along with Saturday kids matinees. The Beslers retired in 1965, but the theatre continued to operate until 1986 when it was finally closed. Extensively remodelled and reopened again in 2005 by Erick and Melanie Casselman as a theatre and dessert cafe, the Park now offers a mix of live entertainment along with movie screenings, as well as DVD rentals. It is also available for private bookings.
Jim Rankin provided a wealth of knowledge and information to Cinema Treasures that will not soon be equalled. He will be truly missed by all on this site. Although I never had the pleasure of meeting him personally I feel that I have lost a close friend as well as a great teacher.
This theatre is already listed on CT as the Delevan Drive-In, owned by Richard Loomis. I wasn’t even sure it was still operating as a theatre since I never saw any films advertised when I drove by. It has been used as an outdoor flea market on weekends for a number of years.
The Kings Robert Morton organ was broken up for parts. The console, however, still exists and at last report was in a private residence in the Chicago area. The only “Wonder organ” still in it’s original home is the 175th St. As LuisV said, the organ from the Paradise was moved and reinstalled in Loew’s Jersey replacing the original organ that went to the Arlington theatre (former Fox Arlington) in Santa Barbara CA.
Ed.. It’s unlikely that the theatre originally extended parallel to Main St as there was a building immediately next to it (south or left side viewed from the front). After viewing the photos again I’m now thinking that there could have been a stage house or more behind the existing building (note the change in brick color above the 6th level. It could have extended back as far as Pearl St which runs behind the theatre (where the parking lot is now). Some 40 years has passed since this was the Paramount theatre. The building was extensively altered for the furniture warehouse that occupied it afterwards. What we see in the photos may be a shortened version of the original structure encompassing only the foyer, lobby and auditorium. Shea’s, just down the block, extends all the way back to Pearl with entrances from both Main and Pearl, but the auditorium runs parallel to both streets. The lobby runs all the way through that theatre from Main to Pearl.
Ed & Patsy: The post Paramount photos are what the building looked liked, boarded up and abandoned, until it was renovated into the City Centre condominiums. The theatre had been housed totally inside the structure that you see, with the windows in the rear of the building cut into it after it was converted into a furniture warehouse by Nemmer Furniture. As well, floors were created inside the former auditorium space. The parking lot at the rear is now mainly visitors parking for the condo with a rear entrance to the building from the parking lot. I’ve visited friends who have a condo there and the lobby bears no hint, as far as I could tell, of it’s former life as a theatre. In fact it is so totally altered that I didn’t realize I was in the former Great Lakes-Paramount building.
As part of the electronics division of General Dynamics Corp, Stromberg Carlson manufactured a line of PA amplifiers as well as home hi-fi amps, tuners and console radios (all monophonic as I recall). I believe that General Dynamics-Stromberg Carlson division withdrew from making home and commercial audio gear by the time stereo rolled around. I know that they had a line of rack mounted amps, as well as school paging/intercom systems so it doesn’t surprise me that they built equipment for theatre use.