Capri Art Theater

3165 Bailey Avenue,
Buffalo, NY 14215

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LouB
LouB on March 3, 2014 at 3:09 pm

link

This link deals with a grant the theater has recieved.

TivFan
TivFan on February 6, 2013 at 4:14 am

Error!! A correction to my Jan. 27/8:47 comment. In looking at the photographs again, it looks as though the “Fleishman’s” sign is on the building on the corner opposite the Bijou Dream. So the Bijou Dream is just called the Bijou Dream. When I get all the photos sorted out, I should add the Bijou Dream to the Buffalo theaters list. This (and other) photos of Buffalo can be seen at the Library of Congress site. There are over 2300 images of Buffalo here and tons of other great history.

TivFan
TivFan on January 31, 2013 at 6:56 am

The postcard/photo showing the white building which replaced the Bijou Dream building, can be seen at wnyheritagepress.org by clicking on “Iriquois Hotel” in the list. This shot also shows the Strand Theatre in the middle of the block, just down from the Iriquois Hotel. It also shows the Palace Theatre on the next block. I have seen another photo of the Bijou which also shows the Strand as the Golden Palace, but I can’t remember where…I’ll let you know.

DonLewis
DonLewis on January 21, 2013 at 10:09 am

Agreeing with Joe about my postcard image of the Palace Theatre and the Capri Art, I have pulled it.

TivFan
TivFan on January 20, 2013 at 10:11 pm

More research…the Garden Theatre IS beside the D. S. Morgan building…well, whatta ya know. I saw a photo on the Library of Congress website.

TivFan
TivFan on January 20, 2013 at 9:35 pm

Where did the postcard picture go? It was there this morning. Does anyone have a direct link to the Don Lewis postcard showing the Palace (and the building that replaced the Bijou)? There a few other Buffalo sites that have photos of the Palace Theatre and Shelton Square. It is amazing how many theaters there were in Buffalo during the 1930’s-40’s. If you ever have the time, see Shea’s Buffalo Theatre. It is astounding! It is the grandest, most extravagent theatre I’ve ever seen. It’s been a while since I’ve been there…I saw “North By Northwest” there in 1996. Radio City Music Hall is fantastic, but for sheer opulence, see Shea’s.

TivFan
TivFan on January 20, 2013 at 9:19 pm

Stumped no more. Looking at the Main Street theaters, the one north of Seneca Street is the Academy Theatre. It was formerly the Academy of Music.

TivFan
TivFan on January 20, 2013 at 9:16 am

That’s all I’ve found on the Bijou, so far. There is no information on the Buffalo history sites I’ve seen.
I’m stumped on this one: I have a card which shows Main Street, looking north from Seneca Street. A theater can be seen on the block between Swan and Seneca Streets, just south of the Ellicott Building. The name is not visible, but there is a large sign, high on the facade, which says: VAUDEVILLE. I’ve identified my other Buffalo cards, even the Shea’s Garden Theatre entrance beside the D.S. Morgan building. (sorry about the many, short comments but my page keeps expiring, so I gotta make it fast…) Thanks.

TivFan
TivFan on January 20, 2013 at 8:47 am

Another shot is a Library of Congress photo at loc.gov/pictures (you probably have to do a search on the site). This panoramic photo of Shelton Square is dated c.1911 and shows the Bijou Dream with an added vertical sign. The sign is not shown complete, but may say: FLEISHM(an’s?). You cannot see the Bijou Dream sign on the Main Street facade, but the 5 cent sign can be seen, to the right, on the side of the building (on North Division).

TivFan
TivFan on January 20, 2013 at 8:29 am

Another photo, dated c.1915 (wrong?) shows a panoramic view of Main Street from the D.S. Morgan building. The Bijou is identical as shown in the 1910 post card. This shot is at wnyheritagepress.org.

TivFan
TivFan on January 20, 2013 at 8:22 am

There is a great c.1900 panoramic photo of Shelton Square showing the building which later housed the Bijou. The building had a cigar store on the ground floor and a museum on the upper floors. The building was altered for the Bijou Dream, except for the top floor and the roof edge detailing. This photo is at shorpy.com.

TivFan
TivFan on January 20, 2013 at 8:01 am

I am doing some research on my movie theater post cards. I have a card showing the Bijou Dream (5 cents) on Main Street at the corner of North Division. The white building in the center of the above photo/card is the building that replaced the one that housed the Bijou. It was on the same block as the Iriquois Hotel. My card showing the Bijou Dream in postmarked 1910. The above shot dates around 1915-16.

Matthew Prigge
Matthew Prigge on November 14, 2012 at 7:03 pm

If anyone has any stories about going to/ working at this threatre in its adult days, I would love to hear them. I am chronicling the histories of adult theatres in the US. Please contact me at Thanks!

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 25, 2012 at 3:11 am

The Palace Theatre in the picture DonLewis linked to is not this house, but one on Main Street in Downtown Buffalo. It isn’t listed at Cinema Treasures. As far as I’ve been able to discover, that Palace was always a burlesque house.

This house might have been called the Circle Arts Theatre, if the claim about Fred Keller, operator of the earlier Circle Arts Theatre, on this web page is correct:

“In early 1962 Fred Keller leased the theatre [the Circle] and renamed it the Circle Arts, and, as the new name implied, he specialized in European films. A year or so later he lost the lease and moved to the Varsity Theatre on Bailey and took the Circle Arts name with him.”
Here is a weblog post from early 2010 about Abraham Cisse (though they misspelled his surname as Cissie), who had recently bought the Uptown Theatre and was in the process of renovating it. I’ve been unable to find any more recent information about the project, but Mr. Cisse is apparently still the owner of the property.

Here is another recent photo of this house as the Uptown.

psmith102006
psmith102006 on February 19, 2011 at 6:15 am

The inside of the theater looks great. Too bad its in such a horrible part of town. Here is a link to some pictures:

http://www.uptowntheatrebuffalo.com/photos.html

LouB
LouB on March 21, 2008 at 3:23 pm

View link

Here is a picture of this theatre when it was known as the Palace.

roberttoplin
roberttoplin on May 17, 2007 at 6:15 pm

The “Varsity” was designed by G. Lewis & R. Hill and opened in 1923 or 1924 with 1,000 seats.

poman
poman on March 21, 2007 at 12:11 pm

This was known as the Palace Theater during the 4 years I was attending the University of Buffalo (1988-1992). They showed porn double features on video projection, for a hefty $8 admission price. One double bill I attended was a ‘70s film (FAREWELL, SCARLET) paired with a shot-on-camcorder cheapie (OPEN HOUSE). There was no longer a marquee above the entrance, just a sign that said “Palace Theater.” Patrons had to go inside and ask what movies were playing, or call the theater and listen very carefully to the answering machine for the titles. Painted on the walls on either side of the entrance were words that basically stated “The movies shown inside this theater are for health and educational purposes only” — meaning the Palace, under whatever name, had been showing skin flicks since the early '60s. The ticket booth was right inside, with a turnstile. I don’t remember the lobby, except that it was small and there was a little bulletin board announcing the following week’s double feature. I never saw the auditorium with the lights on; it was always pitch black, to the point where it was almost impossible to find a seat. Very scary. I went a few times, always with at least 2 friends and only when old-school classics were being shown, and then swore the place off.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on March 8, 2007 at 11:03 am

Should I have said Capri? LM, I told you I would mix this up.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on March 8, 2007 at 11:01 am

This case discusses the Circle Art:
http://tinyurl.com/yo4r7p