Lovejoy Theatre

1171 E. Lovejoy Street,
Buffalo, NY 14206

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 10, 2015 at 8:44 pm

seasickseagull: If you click on the “Street View” link under the photo above, then rotate the resulting view, you will see that Engine 28 is still housed in the firehouse across Lovejoy Street from the former theater.

seasickseagull on November 10, 2015 at 7:29 pm

I remember going to help with my brothers. I would have been 8 or 9 because we moved to Toronto when I was 10. (in 1959) My Aunt Ruth (Rappaport) usually was in the ticket booth. My grandmother Fanny Siegel (nee Rappaport) was always busy running all over the theater…sometimes she would be in the ticket booth or concession or taking tickets when people came in. My grandfather Jack Siegel(his real name was Jacob) usually took tickets when the people came into the theater. My Aunt Sara Weil (nee Rappaport) always manned the concession stand. The projectionists name was Norm. He was a strange kinda guy (but remember I was only 8 or 9. There was an office upstairs next to the projection booth..and it had a huge glass window so if we wanted to sit in the office and watch the movie we could..but we had privlidges. On some Saturday they had kids matinees and they would pack the kids in there…there were even kids sitting on the floor in aisles to watch the movies. Today that would never happen for saftey reasons. My brothers and I got all the free popcorn w wanted, but my Aunt wanted to save money so for us she put the popcorn in a clean box lined with napkins and filled it with popcorn and we always wanted extra butter…which she hated giving us…because we didn’t have to pay. I remember my grandfather would go over o the fire hall across the street and play checkers with the firemen…Is the firehall still there?

bjsedr on November 10, 2015 at 7:01 pm

The Lovejoy theater was owned by my great uncle. He died relatively young. After he died his sisters and their husbands ran it for a while. When I was young and we still lived in the Buffalo area we would often spend Saturdays or Sundays there helping out. We do some cleaning up before they opened and during the show I would often help out at the candy counter. I would enjoy going up in the projection booth during the movie and watch the projectionist change the film reels and synchronize starting the next projector at just the right time so the viewers never knew it happened.

Bary Siegel

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 5, 2013 at 7:48 pm

This .doc file (opens with Microsoft Word) lists some silent era theaters in Buffalo. It says that the first Lovejoy Theatre (originally called the Lovejoy Palace Theatre) was built in 1909 at the northwest corner of Lovejoy and Davey. The address was given as 1198 Lovejoy. It was in a newly-constructed wood framed building 25 x 100 feet.

In 1919, the Lovejoy Theatre was listed at 1202 Lovejoy, which is the modern address of the lot on the northwest corner of Lovejoy and Davey, so it looks as though there was only one Lovejoy Theatre before the one converted into a pool was built, but its address was changed sometime between 1909 and 1914 (for some reason, in the 1924 directory it was listed at 1196 Lovejoy, but the next year it was back at 1202.) My guess would be that it might have been remodeled or even substantially rebuilt around 1919, giving rise to the idea that there were three theaters called the Lovejoy.

The document says that the original Lovejoy Theatre was demolished in 1940 to make way for the Nu-Way Supermarket. The building now on the site is probably the one built in 1940, small though it is. Supermarkets were a lot smaller in those days than they are now. The building currently houses the office of Cricket Wireless.

Though Film Daily was still listing the Lovejoy at 1202 in 1950, if this document is correct the theater probably moved to the new building at 1171 Lovejoy sometime in the 1930s. The Streamline Modern lines of the building certainly look more pre-war than post-war. Film Daily still listing the house at the old address long after it had moved would no surprise to anyone familiar with that publication’s perennial failure to keep information up-to-date.

Holidayguy on December 5, 2013 at 1:59 pm

If anyone knows for sure, I would like to know the address of the old Lovejoy Theater….I live on Lovejoy the building that used to be the Avon Theater, which was repurposed and had a second floor installed in it in the mid 80’s. I know the pool building, but don’t know where the other one was.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 25, 2012 at 1:37 am

I’ve updated the street view to the Lovejoy Pool building, which has the address 1171 E. Lovejoy Street, at the corner of Gold Street. The building is obviously the former third Lovejoy Theatre, built in the 1940s. I think I might have seen a rendering of the Lovejoy in an issue of Boxoffice a couple of weeks ago, but I can’t remember which issue it was and I’ve been unable to find it again.

arl on December 16, 2008 at 4:58 pm

There were actually three Lovejoy Theaters. (And because of renumbering of Lovejoy St, there may
some address confusion). The first theater was a storefront, known as the Lovejoy Palace. This
opened around 1909, and closed in the teens. The second Lovejoy was opened in 1919 by Sam
Rappaport. He also ran the nearby Avon for some years. This Lovejoy was closed in the 1940s,
but soon after this family opened the New Lovejoy at 1169 Lovejoy. This was an Art Deco Theatre
designed by William Spann. This was the last new, single screen theater, built in the city of
Buffalo. The Rappaport ran the show until 1975. New owners reopened the theater and ran
it until 1979. Later the City took it over, and converted it into an indoor swimming pool.
The second Lovejoy was a grocery for time, its present status unknown.

railroad on April 8, 2008 at 10:06 pm

Located at 1171 Lovejoy, phone number 1960: HUmboldt 8310

LouB on September 8, 2007 at 9:10 pm

The Lovejoy Pool is featured in the book Silent Screens by Michael Putnam.

Patsy on May 18, 2007 at 5:01 pm

LOL! I thought about adding that comment to my post! I think the original looking front doors are beautiful so I look forward to seeing them. They remind me of what one might have seen at the old Greyhound Bus Terminals. Check out

Patsy on May 18, 2007 at 4:48 pm

I’ve never made it to this former theatre, but will try this summer and report back here.

Patsy on December 14, 2004 at 6:22 pm

Under the photo that is found on the site it reads “This theater has been converted to an indoor swimming pool; there is very little on the inside to suggest that it was ever a theater. The staff are warm and welcoming, and are eager to show anyone around.” I’m sure this is very true, but those of us who have studied former theatres can tell that the doors to this indoor swimming pool are most definitely signs of it being a former theatre and a big tip off to that fact!

matts325 on December 1, 2004 at 7:56 pm

The old Theater is now an indoor swimming pool. It was converted in the mid 1980s and has served that purpose ever since.

A photo is available at:

seasickseagull on November 23, 2004 at 5:23 pm

There used to be two theatres on Lovejoy…..when the new Lovejoy opened, the old Lovejoy closed and remained abondoned for mnay years. I think the the city took it over for unpaid taxes.