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In response to Opus1280. The confussion is centered around a Genesee Theater chandelier which is now at the Riviera Theater. In my posting on Sept 20,06 I questioned what chandelier actually went to the Riviera. I recently met with Nicholas Cintorino, a local theater historian. Nick was also a patron at Basil’s Genesee. I also got together with Diane Wetzler, a chasier in the box office while I managed the Genesee Theater. The Boxoffice was in the palatial (3 floors high) lobby. My mind was always centered in the auditorium in explaining the “Chandelier”. Nick and Diane refreshed my memory in telling me there were 2 chandeliers and one was in the lobby. The lobby chandelier was smaller, not exactly the same but in ways similar to the chandelier in the auditorium of the theater. The chandelier operations were not the same because the structure and size of the lobby was not like the auditorium. Therefore different in some respects to size and design.\Also, removing the lobby chandelier and through double-entry doors to the Riviera Theater was a very easy movement. After placement in the Riviera auditorium, the condition, design, and operation depended entirely on the people working in the theater. I am wondering if my clarification will lead to an armistice or ?
I no longer have any time on the internet as my book “ True Theater History During the 20th Century” has been donated to individuals worldwide. Also, to libraries and educational schools. Next year 2 books will be in release. One national, the other more expansive in Western New York and Southern Ontario, Canada. The entire book of 700 pages with over 300 photos is Non-Fiction and validated by people that lived, worked and owned motion picture theaters during jth 20th century.
I am just finishing up the order of pictures then it will be off to the publisher. I will leave a notice here on the web site when it comes out. Thank you for your interest
In addition to true theater history, my book will reveal how and why Michael Shea never owned or built a “Sheas” Theater with many true stories and photos to be included
Yes Bway I am the son of Bill Basil one of the four Basil Bros. who owned Motion picture theaters. I was born 1929 and into the theater business most of my life.
CORRECTION OF ABOVE:
Yes, the largest chandelier in Buffalo and WNY came from Basil’s Genesee Theater, but before reaching the Riviera, it had many more chained crystals and sparkeled BRIGHT white from many more hidden bulbs behind the crystals.
Correction of above:
The Lafayette opened in 1922 with 4,234 seats and in 1946 it had 3,542 of the most comfortable seats
Style – Art Moderne Function – Movies, Stage & Off Broadway Plays
Seating – 4234 on opening to 3542
Chain – Basil Theaters, Inc.
Basil’s Lafayette Theater was the largest theater in Buffalo and Western New York. In 1922, it opened with precisely 4,234 seats. Basil’s Lafayette was the only theater in Downtown Buffalo completely remodeled inside and out in the Art Moderne style in the 1940’s including a larger and more comfortable seating bringing the number of seats down to 3542, maintaning it as the largest theater in WNY, at the time. The most beautiful theater and new marquee was adjoined to the 10-story Basil’s Lafayette Building of 100 offices. The Lafayette had the only stage large enough for off-Broadway plays and 3 floors of dressing rooms. The largest screen, the best acoustics, the largest mezzanine and the lobby with a total of 3 box offices. It was the most record breaking and profitable theater downtown. It was the only theater successfully SOLD just before all downtown theaters collapsed in Buffalo. Newspaper headline read, “LARGEST REAL ESTATE TRANSACTION IN DOWNTOWN BUFFALO HISTORY”. All other theaters were walk aways or given-up. Contrary to all false stories, ALL theaters on Main St suffered financially, especially the Shea’s Buffalo which never made a profit after “Talkies” arrived. It is now a Welfare theater.
The Lafayette was always known as “Lafayette Theater” as shown on original vertical and marquee in 1922. I will post several photos of the building interior and exterior as soon as it becomes possible. Within a year my book on true theater history will be released. The factual nationwide tragedy of “Illegal Schemes”. All the false stories coming from “Shea’s” Buffalo history, including the mythical Michael Shea who never actually owned or built a “Shea’s” theater. The United States Supreme Court ordered Paramount Pictures' illegal Shea operation to vacate, not sell, all their theaters.
For questions or comments I can be reached at 716-834-0348
From John B Basil – the Capitol Theater by 1934 was owned and operated by the chain of Basil Theaters, Inc. Remodeled and seating changed to a comfortable 950 seats. I managed theaters in London, England for Associated British Cinemas and in Buffalo with the Basils and Dipson. Within a year my book True Theater History should be released. It is about “Illegal Schemes” against theater owners and Michael Shea who never owned or built a “Shea’s” theater. For questions I can be reached at 716-834-0348
When built this the Century Theater was a Motion Picture Theater the seating was 2632 when purchased by Dipson/Basil in 1939. I personally managed the most attendance in its history with the opening of Walt Disney’s “Mary Poppins” in 1965. The Century had 2632 seats from the 1940’s up to 1965. It was Block Booked by the illegal Paramount Pictures theater chain and their illegal Shea operation in Buffalo. The United States Supreme Court decred and the Federal Court ordered McFaul and Shea to vacate, not sell, their theaters in 1948. Within a year my book on the most factual and True History of Theaters will be released. A Nationwide tragedy of the why’s and how’s of the 20th Century. Also did you know that the mythical Michael Shea never owned or built a “Shea’s” theater? My name is John B Basil, for questions I can be reached at 716-834-0348.
On Sunday July 30, 1939 newspaper headlines read “BASIL’S TAKE CENTURY” the Shea’s Theaters were in full declination. Also taken over were the RIVIERA and BAILEY along with other theaters. On August 1, 1939 the Century and Riviera reopened as a part of the Dipson-Basil theater chain and leased from Max Yellen. Both theaters remodeled and had a new triangle marquee. Yes the largest chandelier in Buffalo and WNY came from Basil’s Genesee theater, but before it had many chained crystals and sparkeled brioght white from hidden bulbs behind the crystals
When Dipson bought Basil’s share for 2,000,000 in 1941 – shortly after, Dipson was Block Booked by “Sheas”. Dipson went to the US Supreme Court and the Federal Court ordered Paramount’s illegal Shea operation to vacate, not sell, all Shea theaters in 1948.
Within a year my book on True Theater History should be released. It is about the “Illegal Schemes” against theater owners nationwide and Michael Shea, who never owned or built a “Shea’s” theater. For questions or comments I can be reached at 716-834-0348.
Style – Classic Function – motion pictures Seats – 942 Chain Basil Theaters Inc. (which consisted of 4 brothers)
The Broadway Theater by 1932 was part of the chain of Basil Theaters, Inc. It was remodeled and seating was 942.
Yes, a very impressive front to this day. I managed theaters in London, England for Associated British Cinemas and also in the United States for Dipson and Basil (my familys firm). For questions I may be reached here or at 716-834-0348
My book True Theater History should be released within a year and will cover the Nationwide tragedy of “Illegal Schemes” against theater owners.
The Function of the ROXY was motion pictures and the seating was 1154 the Chain – Basil Theaters Inc.
The Roxy , by 1934, was owned by the Basil Theater chain, remodeled with larger and more comfortable seating (1154). I am John B Basil and i’ve managed theaters in London, England for Associated British Cinemas,in Buffalo with my familys firm of Basil Theaters and also Dipson. Within a year my book on true theater history should be released. for questions plaese call 716-834-0348