Colvin Theater

1069 Kenmore Avenue,
Kenmore, NY 14217

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Aside from the unique Art Moderne design which made it distinctive, the Colvin Theater was a neighborhood film house with a few extraordinary features.

The owner/manager had an apartment on the second floor of the theater with a “window” that opened out onto the auditorium in the space that would have been a balcony. He would invite friends over to sit in the living room to watch the show. The downstairs also held a sound proofed room where mothers could sit with their young children and watch the movie through a large, glass window.

The theater has been demolished and replaced by an apartment building.

Contributed by E. Summer

Recent comments (view all 15 comments)

Patsy on December 15, 2004 at 7:43 am

sam_e: Such a shame that that unique theater with the very unique upstairs apartment with the window overlooking the auditorium is GONE as I don’t recall reading about any other theatre with this unique feature. Did you go there as a child? Also, what is your recollection concerning The Granada and those masks carved in the stone above the entrance that my Buffalo friend relayed to me via a recent email? Would be neat to see a photo of those masks?

PGlenat on December 15, 2004 at 8:01 am

Patsy, I lived not too far from both the Colvin and the Granada. I saw the Colvin being demolished…sad! I went to the Granada a couple of times…caught the ‘Rocky Horror Picture Show’ there when they went all out with audience participation. They ran it every weekend for several years as I recall. Later Rocky Horror moved to the Amherst, just across from UB with weekend midnight showings. For the longest time after the Granada closed it had ‘for rent’ signs on it. Eventually the marquee was removed and the theater entrance was boarded over. I never went around to the rear to see if the auditorium was still there or had been demolished. I do recall
seeing the comedy and tragedy masks in the stonework above the
entrance, though

Patsy on December 15, 2004 at 8:14 am

Do you still live in the Buffalo area? My friend also went to The Granada to see Rocky Horror Picture Show so maybe you sat next to him and didn’t even know it! LOL! My email is entered in My Profile if you wish to contact me that way to get his name. He grew up near the Colvin Theatre. I mentioned to him about registering on this site as he would have lots of Buffalo theatre trivia to contribute!

psmith102006 on June 10, 2006 at 6:05 am

I went to the Colvin in the 1960’s and 1970’s when I was a teenager. I lived in Kenmore, so it was easy to get to. Earthquake in Sensurrond was a big deal. I saw it 6 times there. The movie was terrible but the effect was neat. I think I saw every movie that showed there. Back in the 1970’s, some Buffalo shows where still open. I would go to the old shows instead of the multiplexes. The Bailey would show 2 movies for $1.00. What A bargain. I also went to the Kensington, I think it blew up and that was the end of it. We all went to the Showplace, the old Unity. Been in the Ellen Terry, musicians were renting in the 1990’s and it was tore down. I saw Jaws at the Lovejoy, it is now a community swimming pool. The Century was showing 3 movies on Thursdays and Saturdays in the 1970’s. Went there quite a lot. I saw Walking Tall at the Teck, it became horrible looking inside. Remember the Downtown Cinema, across the street from the Buffalo, it was really a small show compared to the big shows in downtown.

Patsy on October 25, 2006 at 4:10 pm

What a cute art deco theatre that was sadly torn down to “make way for a high-rise apartment building”. Such wisdom!

roberttoplin on May 18, 2007 at 3:26 pm

The “Colvin” was located at 1069 Kenmore Ave., between Colvin and Charleston. It was designed by Eli W. Goldstein with 1,000 seats. I have it being razed during the summer of 1984.

railroad on April 8, 2008 at 9:18 pm

Phone number 1960: DElaware 5440

greeney2 on July 13, 2010 at 9:16 am

I grew up in Kenmore in the 50’s, lived on 72 deumaunt terrace and went to Charles Lindberg. I watched many many or the sci-fi movies at the Colvin including the Blob with Steve Mcqueen. I cried at the Colvin at the end of Ol Yeller. Moved to California in 1960, and herd from a ebay customer of mine in Kenmore the Colvin was torn down. How I remember walking to and from the Colvin, many times in Winter snow. Went to matinees on Saturdays. I remember the A&P next door, and a custurd stand accross the steet, and St.Joes. I saw the film with Ben Gazarra “Buffalo something” and it looked like St. Joes filmed a scene on Wilton Place. Walking to Lindberg on winter days, and shoveling snow, the Colvin were my childhood. No snow in Los angeles, just sunny California and the movies cost a years worth of the Colvin now. That ebay customer said he retieved some kind of light fixture out of the Colvin. I have a vauge recollection of the upstairs part, and didn;t remember they had so many seats. What a shame, replaced by apartments. I’m sure I would not recognize the neighborhood, but a coworker not long ago visited Tonawanda, and took a roll of pictures of my old house and steet for me.

hammerglenn on December 15, 2013 at 6:47 pm


bbaldrober on November 11, 2014 at 3:13 pm

Anyone remember the Colvin showing 30 cartoons in the late 50’s, early 60’s on saturday afternoons? I counted once and there were less than 30, but by the end we were so bleary eyed no one cared.

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