For Shea’s Buffalo Theatre, this week marks 92 years of entertaining audiences at Western New York’s shining star for live performances and touring Broadway. From its silent film roots during the Classical Hollywood era to its present-day glory as a venue for performing arts, Buffalo’s Baroque beauty has a rich history that has danced through more than nine decades.
“From the moment you enter the doors of this extraordinary theatre, you feel something special and meaningful is about to happen,” said Michael G. Murphy, President of Shea’s Performing Arts Center. “Shea’s Buffalo Theatre has created countless memories for generations of theatre-goers – along with the experiences provided by its kindred spirits established at Shea’s 710 and Smith Theatres – so this organization really is at the heart of the region’s arts community, and we’ll keep strengthening the heartbeat.”
Following Michael Shea’s establishment of numerous theatres across the City of Buffalo, his most ambitious concept was an extravagant dream constructed in just one year. Shea’s Buffalo Theatre opened its doors on Jan. 16, 1926 to King of Main Street, an appropriately-titled film for the inaugural screening of what inevitably became the city’s imperial theatre.
To Mr. Shea, the “Wonder Theatre” was a gift to the hardworking people of Buffalo, some of whom lacked the means to enjoy an opulent theatre experience. When the Great Depression challenged entertainment industries across the country, Shea refused to lay off employees and made ticket prices more affordable for families. To this day, the institution’s influence on communities across WNY – through its vast history of entertainment, charitable work, and economic impact – is unequivocal.
Shea’s Buffalo Theatre has withstood the test of time thanks to the generosity of donors, volunteers, patrons, and grants secured by local leaders – as well as outstanding programming that includes touring Broadway shows, concerts, dance performances, comedy, and special events.
The 2017- 2018 Broadway Season began with the national tour launch of “On Your Feet” and concludes with Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Love Never Dies,” a title that aptly describes the relationship between Shea’s Performing Arts Center and the City of Buffalo.
For 2018 schedules or more information on Shea’s Buffalo Theatre, Shea’s 710 Theatre, and Shea’s Smith Theatre, visit www.sheas.org.