Little Hippodrome Theater

263 Main Street,
Buffalo, NY 14203

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Most sources credit the Bijou Dream as being Buffalo’s first moving picture theater, but there is some evidence that this theater may have opened weeks earlier. It did open around 1906, in an existing five-story building.

Called the Hippodrome Theater in early years, it had one of the first Wurlitzer theater organs. In 1914, when Micheal Shea opened his Hippodrome Theater up the street, this theater became the Little Hippodrome Theater.

Originally opened by Rudolph Wagner, it was run by the Bailey family in later years. It was damaged in 1960, by a fire in Keith’s Theater, which was next door. When the Little Hippodrome Theater closed two years later, the local newspaper described it as “a haven where one could keep warm for a nominal fee”. It was torn down shortly after closure.

Contributed by Alan lapp

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

railroad on April 8, 2008 at 10:03 pm

This theatre advertised continuous showing from 10AM-11PM. Phone number 1960: MOhawk 0228

TivFan on February 8, 2013 at 8:29 am

There is great photograph of Main Street showing the Hippodrome Theatre on the Library of Congress website. The Hippodrome can be seen at the extreme right of the photo, in the next block down from the Ellicott Building. The admission is advertised as 5 cents. Go to a search for Main Street Buffalo (or similar) and there are multiple results/click on “Main Street, Buffalo N.Y.” for the photo.

MotorheadBill54 on April 2, 2013 at 10:43 pm eater – From The Buffalo History Gazette.

Roger Katz
Roger Katz on January 19, 2015 at 12:32 pm

Was this ever known as the Grand Theatre? A 1914 listing puts the Grand Theatre at 267 Main St.

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