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Category:Architecture and Structures
Subcategory:Places of Interest
Subcategory Detail:
Keywords:buffalo, downtown, historic, shea's, theater
From The Stage

From The Stage

Print Title: From The Stage

This is an original print that I photographed. This highly detailed photo was taken from center stage inside Shea’s Performing Arts Center in Buffalo, New York.


Shea’s Buffalo, flagship of the theater chain, was designed by the noted firm of Rapp and Rapp of Chicago. Modeled in a combination of Spanish and French Baroque and Rococo styles, the theatre was designed to resemble opera houses and palaces of Europe of the 16th and 17th centuries.
Originally the seating accommodated nearly 4,000 people, but several hundred seats were removed in the 1930s to make more comfortable accommodations in the orchestra area. The interior was designed by world renowned designer/artist Louis Comfort Tiffany with most of the elements still in place today. Many of the furnishings and fixtures were supplied by Marshall Field in Chicago, and included immense Czechoslovakian crystal chandeliers of the finest quality. The interior contained over 1-acre (4,000 m2) of seating.

The cost of construction and outfitting of the theater in 1926 was just over $1,900,000. This was at a time when a new house could be purchased for $3,000 and a new Model A Ford was $1,000. The theater opened January 16, 1926 with the film King of Main Street, starring Adolphe Menjou. When Michael Shea retired in 1930, Shea’s interests were headed by V. R. McFaul, who owned and managed several dozen Shea’s Theaters in the metro Buffalo area until his death in 1955. Loew’s Theatres took over the chain’s interests in 1948.

The theater’s “Mighty Wurlitzer” was a custom design built by the Wurlitzer Company and was one of only 5 in the world that had tonal finishing, provided directly from the Wurlitzer factory, after it had been installed in the theater. The organ was used as a demonstrator by the Wurlitzer Factory, in nearby North Tonawanda, whenever a visiting customer wanted to hear an example of a 4 manual (keyboard) organ installed in a theater. {The demonstrator for a 3 manual (keyboard) organ was the Riviera Theatre in North Tonawanda, NY.}

All 8x10, 16x20, 20x30 prints are produced using use a traditional photographic process. Printing is on real photographic paper which is exposed with light and then run through a chemical process, on Kodak Endura Professional Paper. (Read description on other items)

All prints will be ready for framing. There will be minor cropping on the 20″ x 30″ print.

Item #: Sheas-1-Hi-Res