512 Broadway Street,
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With it’s impressive terra-cotta front, the Basil’s Broadway Theatre is located on the East Side of Buffalo. Located at 516 Broadway Street, near Jefferson Avenue, it was originally built as the Sattler Theatre for department store magnet John G. Sattler, and designed by architects Henry L. Spann and his brother William T. Spann.
It was opened in 1914, at a cost of $35,000 and replaced the older wood frame Casino Theatre on it’s site. The theater was a movie theater right from the beginning, and didn’t have a stage.
The Sattler Theatre didn’t last long, as around 1920, the theater changed hands and was renamed the Broadway Theatre. A Marr and Colton two-manual organ was installed a few years later. At some period of time, a small stage was installed and it presented vaudeville and movies.
Some years later two brothers, the Basil’s, took over operation of the theatre and it was once again renamed, this time to the Basil’s Broadway Theatre.
The Broadway Theatre was closed in the early-1960’s, and became Mohammed’s Mosque 23, which was visited by Malcolm X and Mohammed Ali. It became God’s Holy Temple from 1976 to 1984. It then became the Joy Temple Church from 1987 to 1996. Since then the building has remained empty and unused.
The Broadway Theatre was purchased by the Western New York Minority Media Professionals(WNYMMP) in 2008. Plans are progressing to restore the theatre for use as a multi-media performance space. They have applied for National Register status.
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