612 Main Street,
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Previously operated by: Fox Circuit, Paramount-Publix, Shea Theatres
Architects: Leon H. Lempert, Jr.
Styles: Spanish Renaissance, Streamline Moderne
Previous Names: Fox Great Lakes Theatre, Shea's Great Lakes Theatre, Great Lakes Theatre
The Fox Great Lakes Theatre had two entrances, one 612 Main Street the other at 9 W. Chippewa Street. It was opened on May 30, 1927 with George O' Brien in “Is Zat So?” plus vaudeville on its stage. It was equipped with a Wurlitzer 3 manual 11 ranks organ. On September 4, 1931 it was taken over by Shea Theatres. It was renamed Paramount Theatre on July 23, 1949. It was closed February 20, 1965 with James Garner in “36 Hours” & Joe Morrison in “Racing Fever”. Demolition of the auditorium began March 2, 1965. The front section and lobby on Main Street were retained.
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Recent comments (view all 145 comments)
Its actually in nice shape, quite the conversation piece.
Found a great article about the theater (with interior photo!). Here is the link:
Just an update on this theatre’s Wurlitzer Opus 1616 shipped from the Wurlitzer factory in April 1927. This instrument passed to at least 2 other owners before being purchased in 2013 and shipped to FL for installation in a private residence. All original pipework has been retained. The unique console (with typewriter keys for the sound effects) was long gone before the organ was purchased by the new owners. I was told that the blower was started for the first this Sunday March 2nd and that the instrument will be playing before too long.
The theater auditorium was demolished, however, the ticket lobby, the booth, and the stair hall were intact behind plywood until 1980s years after the auditorium fell. The booth was removed to a restaurant in the building abutting Sheas. The transom glass, lobby chandelier, wall sconces left about the same time. All decorative parts were taken out before the condo conversion
The name Great Lakes was selected in a contest and the winners split a cash prize.
Paramount and other theatres in this link.
The Great Lakes Theater launched with William Fox in the house. on May 30, 1927 opening with George O'Brien in “Is Zat So?” supported by a Fox newsreel and various Amalgamated Vaudeville acts. Opening ad in photos along with an ad for its Wurlitzer organ.
Joined Shea’s on September 4th, 1931. Grand opening ad posted.
50 years of Shea’s
Shea’s 50th anniversary 02 Sep 1931, Wed Buffalo Evening News (Buffalo, New York) Newspapers.com
Renamed Paramount on July 23rd, 1949. Ads posted.
Seats for sale in 1965 Paramount theatre closing 13 Feb 1965, Sat Buffalo Evening News (Buffalo, New York) Newspapers.com
Paramount theatre closed for a parking lot 08 Feb 1965, Mon Buffalo Evening News (Buffalo, New York) Newspapers.com