Paramount Theatre

612 Main Street,
Buffalo, NY 14202

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Paramont Theater, Buffalo N.Y.

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The Great Lakes Theatre was opened on May 30, 1927.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 139 comments)

arl on December 14, 2009 at 7:34 pm

More Paramount information. While Fox and Loews originally ran this theater, Micheal Shea, with
Paramount as a partner took over in 1931. At this point Shea had an interest in all the major
downtown theaters, except the Lafayette. In early 1934 the Great Lakes went dark. Other
operators couldn’t get the theater reopened (claiming Shea monopolized the product) and
Sheas under Vincent McFaul (Shea died in 1935), reopened that year, and stayed under that
management until 1949. The theater breakup in 1949, gave the Great Lakes to Paramount, and
also the name change. In 1951, Edward Miller began managing the Paramount, and did so
until the end in 1965. 51 people saw the last show in the 3300 seat theater on February 20,
Some other data, a furniture store occupied the upper levels for most years. A silent theater
for only one year, the “Jazz Singer” debuted in 1928. Vaudeville was ended in 1932. AC installed
in 1936. Admission dropped as low as 25 cents in the 1930s, but was up to 65 cents in 1945.
“Gone with the WInd” showed here in 1940 at $1.10 per seat. Dennis Day was brought in,
to open the “New” Paramount in 1949. 75,000 pairs of 3-D glasses were obtained for the
showing of “House of Wax”, which was 2nd only to GWTW for attendance.

Brad Smith
Brad Smith on April 24, 2010 at 11:05 am

Click here for a photograph taken of Fox’s Great Lakes (Paramount) Theatre in 1931 by George Mann of the comedy dance team, Barto & Mann.

Don Lewis
Don Lewis on October 19, 2010 at 10:24 am

From the late 1950s a photo postcard view of downtown Buffalo that captured a view of the Paramount and Buffalo Theatres.

tlstech on March 20, 2012 at 9:25 pm

I have done a lot of work on the building; reading the comments has put a lot of pieces of the puzzle together for me. The original framework still stands, as do the arched window openings facing Main St. The interior was demolished when the furniture company took over the entire space after the the Paramount closed, and a steel structure was erected to place floors in the large void left by the auditorium. When City Centre condos were built in the early 90s, the steel structure was reinforced to support the addition of four more stories. Then the whole exterior was re-skinned. Examining the steel and concrete on the middle floors, there are still ancient electrical conduits and fixture boxes from the theatre/warehouse days.

Some of the workers involved the in demolition many years ago salvaged one of the 35mm projectors, at this writing it sits in my dining room.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on March 20, 2012 at 10:49 pm

Some of the workers involved the in demolition many years ago salvaged one of the 35mm projectors, at this writing it sits in my dining room.

Your wife must be thrilled!

tlstech on March 21, 2012 at 5:12 pm

Its actually in nice shape, quite the conversation piece.

tlstech on September 8, 2012 at 8:14 pm

Found a great article about the theater (with interior photo!). Here is the link:

Wurlitzer1773 on March 6, 2014 at 1:42 pm

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.

Aaronmills on September 6, 2014 at 5:26 pm

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

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