Senate Theatre

188 Rhode Island Street,
Buffalo, NY 14213

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Senate Theatre

The Senate Theatre opened in December 1913 as the Frontier Theatre. The architectural firm that designed this theater was Bethune, Bethune and Fuchs. The first Bethune was Louise Bethune who is the first American professional woman architect.

The Frontier Theatre was renamed the Senate Theatre when it was sold to a Mr. Konczakowski. In 1928 the management installed a Link pit organ with a roll-player.

Contributed by Lost Memory

Recent comments (view all 8 comments)

PGlenat on October 24, 2004 at 12:39 am

I lived diagonally across from the Senate theater for several years. It was (and probably still is) home to the Senate Gun Club. Other than repainting the marquee all brown, including the Senate name, there was seldom any activity around the building although it could be a bit disconcerting to come home at times and find the street lined with police cruisers. They were just using the club’s facilities to practice marksmanship. As far as I know the Senate closed as a theater in the late 50’s.

shoeshoe14 on March 9, 2007 at 12:20 am

This was a nickelodeon.

kencmcintyre on March 23, 2007 at 11:27 pm

Here is a 1985 photo by Michael Putnam:

kencmcintyre on September 8, 2007 at 2:34 am

Konczakowski Theaters was headquartered at 257 Virginia Street, Buffalo in the early sixties. E.W. Konczakowski was president. Other Buffalo theaters under his command at the time were the Circle and Marlowe.

LouB on September 8, 2007 at 4:03 am

This theater is featured in Michael Putnam’s book Silent Screens. It shows the interior of the theater being used for shooting practice.

alknobloch on September 6, 2009 at 4:52 pm

This small theater indeed did become both a garage and a shooting range – which was really in keeping with the theme of the surrounding deteoriating neighborhood. The last film to play here was one of the Godzilla series, as the ‘now playing’ one sheet stayed in the left showcase windowbox for quite a while after the theater went dark.

LouB on March 24, 2012 at 4:20 pm


The link above is the obituary for the former owner of this theatre.

MikeH0714 on February 4, 2014 at 9:39 pm

As the Frontier, this theater played Charlie Chaplin’s first film, MAKING A LIVING, on February 21, 1914. Too bad it wasn’t fixed up for its 100th anniversary last year.

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