Shea's Niagara Theater

426 Niagara Street,
Buffalo, NY 14201

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The Niagara Theater, located on Buffalo’s lower west side, opened in July 1940. It was opened by the Shea chain, and had all the conveniences a theater could offer at that date, including air conditioning. It was a two story tile faced building, with a supermarket along-side.

Independent management ran the theater after 1949, with the Catholic Church taking over in 1958, showing only approved movies. The theater closed in 1960.

Contributed by Alan Lapp

Recent comments (view all 9 comments)

Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois
Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois on February 2, 2008 at 8:34 am

I think at one time this theater was used as a church??

“I don’t sell tickets to movies. I sell tickets to theatres.” Marcus Loew

MVT
MVT on February 14, 2008 at 6:06 pm

I lived around the corner for a time on Hudson St. I can remember seeing my first news reel and movie there. After the Catholic Church stop running the theater I belive it was turned into a collision shop for a time. On my last trip back to Buffalo it the marque was missing and the place was boarded up.

PGlenat
PGlenat on February 14, 2008 at 6:59 pm

I don’t recall the building being a collision shop, but in recent years it had been used as a walk in community services center and health clinic for residents of the lower west side.

MVT
MVT on February 14, 2008 at 7:16 pm

I am almost positive that the Niagara was a collision shop or some type of auto repair place for a time, but I may have it confused with the Senate on Rhode Island St. That was a collision shop I am 100% sure. Before it became a shooting range. My grandparents lived on West Ave. and was there often.

PGlenat
PGlenat on February 14, 2008 at 8:59 pm

I lived diagonally across from the Senate theater for a number of years, but by then it was (and probably still is) the Senate Gun Club. I’ll have to ask a friend of mine who lived on the street for many years before I did if he recalls the collision shop. There was a service station/garage (Caruso’s) across from the Senate at Rhode Island and West, (since demolished).

roberttoplin
roberttoplin on February 16, 2008 at 12:11 am

The Niagara Theatre opened July 12,1940 with 1,300 seats. The architect was Henry Spann and the Interior Design was by Novelty Scenic Studios of NYC.

mgoshea
mgoshea on January 13, 2010 at 11:16 am

The Niagara was owned by Holy Cross church for a while but they sold it and it is now West End Communications Inc. Just spoke to the owner on the phone and he confirmed.

MVT
MVT on January 14, 2010 at 10:04 pm

mgoshea,
Just read your post 1/13/10. Was there ever a collision shop or auto repair in the building? Did the current owner say if any of the original interior is intact? Are they using the building or do they any plans for it? MVT

spectrum
spectrum on December 5, 2010 at 12:53 pm

From the front there is a retail business in the store frontage – the narrow theatre entrance is made over, has a very small door as well as a closed garage-style entrance. No signs to indicate what is inside but the building is in very good shape.

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