Columbia Theatre

449 Genesee Street,
Buffalo, NY 14204

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The New Columbia Theatre opened April 15, 1915 by the Model Theater Company, at a cost of $100,000. It had 1,200 seats which were priced at 5 and 15 cents. Interior was made to resemble a classic art gallery. Had live entertainment with movies through the 1920’s and 1930’s.

The Gammel chain took over around 1940, and ran the theatre until the end, in 1956. It was converted into a church and was demolished 1963/1964.

Genesee Street in Buffalo had seven theaters in 1950 and only one by
1958.

Contributed by Alan Lapp

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on July 10, 2014 at 1:57 pm

Although first listed in directories in 1915, the Columbia Theatre was probably opened before the end of 1914. The Columbia was the house in this item from the May 2, 1914, issue of The American Contractor:

“Picture Theater (seating 1.400), 62x125. $40,000. Genesee nr. Mortimer st. Archt. Martin C. Miller, 1009 Mutual Life bldg. Owner Fred. Ullman, Mutual Life bldg. Archt. ready for bids about May 15th on construction with & without gallery, and with and without stage. Brick, terra cotta, fireproof, comp. roof, struct. & orn. iron.”
This house was probably a replacement for an earlier theater of the same name, as the New York Clipper mentioned a Columbia Theatre in Buffalo operated by Fred Ullman in October, 1912.

dallasmovietheaters
dallasmovietheaters on February 1, 2017 at 9:05 am

A slight revision in that the trade press reported that Elder Charles D. Beck took on the Columbia Theatre in 1956 converting it to The Way Of The Cross Church Of God in Christ. “No use letting the Devil have all the good tunes,” said Elder Beck. The Folkways Records recording at the former Columbia Theatre location was recorded there on December 30/31, 1956 and released in 1957. The album is still in print as of 60 years after its recording and release. Looking at the historic aerials and newspaper listing, it was torn down sometime between 1962 and 1963.

Functions: Church

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