Lake Theatre

3194 Lake Avenue,
Rochester, NY 14612

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Lake Theatre

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The Lake Theatre is located on Lake Avenue, near the neighborhood known as Charlotte. The exterior is brick and decorative concrete trim with art deco overtones. Portions of the interior (now Charlotte Furniture and Appliance) were still intact ten years ago when I was last in there.

These included mirrors in the former lobby with fancy sconces installed into the middle of them, and the proscenium arch in the former auditorium. I think the staircases to the balcony were also still there in one piece. There was a ballroom over the front entrance originally. My mother occasionally reminisces about the Saturday matinees here, in the 1930’s. By 1941, it was operated by the Schine Circuit. It was still open in 1950.

Contributed by Carl Laitenberger

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

ClassicTheater on October 21, 2009 at 10:19 pm

It was built in 1920. Right from the Charlotte Appliances website, here’s how they describe how they acquired the building.

“Charlotte Appliances did so well that in 1960, Tony was able to purchase the block-long Lake Theater building on Lake Avenue. In 1961 he added televisions, furniture, and bedding to the sales list. Then and today, the expansive theater’s lobby, ballroom and balcony areas are stocked with televisions and furniture. The lower level is reserved for appliances. The lighted marquis on Lake Avenue reads ‘Charlotte Appliance.’”

Movie_Fan_Rochester on May 2, 2015 at 12:07 pm

I recall going to the Lake Theatre back in the mid to late 1950’s. I recall being there seeing a Disney Animated Movie, but I don’t recall which one, I was very little. I remember it closing, and then re-opening as the first location for Catholic Mass, for the new Our Lady of Mercy Parish, located on Denise Rd. and Armstrong Rd. I seemed funny back then, going to attend Mass and a movie theatre, with the Altar set right in the middle of the stage, and we sat in the old fold-down theatre seats. I recall that you could still sit in the balcony if you so desired. This must have been in the later portion of the 1950’s, as I recall the grade I was in at Holy Cross School, attending Sunday Mass at the Lake Theatre, but unable to attend Our Lady Of Mercy School, because they opened up the school with only a few of the classrooms open. As the years went on, all the classes were opened, and they moved the Church to the School and finally built a Church on the property. The next thing I can recall was Charlotte Appliances moving from their location, perhaps 50 to 75 yards, North of the Lake Theatre, into the Lake Theatre. I know it was in the early 60’s, but not sure when. We didn’t attend the Lake Theatre as many times as we did the other Theatres, south of the this location, like the Riviera, and I know we also went to a theatre in the area of Driving Park Ave. and Dewey Ave, where we saw “Carousel,” and “The King and I.” I remember my father parking on Dewey Ave., North of Driving Park, and walking up to Driving Park, but I can’t recall the location of the theatre.

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