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Located at the corner of Washington Street and Broadway. Opened in 1922, to replace an earlier theater of the same name nearby, the Lafayette Square Playhouse was designed by architect Leon H. Lempert for legitimate theater and vaudeville. It was located, as the name suggests, off Buffalo’s Lafayette Square, with its entrance on Broadway. The theater’s name was eventually shortened to simply the Lafayette Theatre. It could seat over 3,542. The Lafayette Theatre was acclaimed for its superb acoustics and had a large stage. In 1927, it was the first Buffalo movie house to show the “The Jazz Singer”.
In later years, it would begin to suffer in attendance partly due to the fact in was away from the other major theaters located on Main Street, such as Shea’s Buffalo Theatre and the Paramount Theatre. The Lafayette Theatre was demolished in 1962, and the site is now a parking lot.
Part of the Lafayette’s organ was later installed at the Temple Beth Zion on Delaware Avenue.
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