Shea’s Buffalo Theatre, the historic crown jewel of Shea’s PAC, opened in 1926 under the moniker of “The Wonder Theatre” and was the dream of Michael Shea. Originally serving as a movie house under Paramount Pictures with “an acre of seats”, it would later stage vaudeville shows and play host to the likes of the Marx Brothers, Frank Sinatra, George Burns, Bob Hope and more in the 1930’s. Later in the 1970’s, to save the theatre from demolition, a group of concerned people formed The Friends of Buffalo Theatre. This not-for-profit organization worked to bring about a preliminary restoration and was responsible for getting Shea’s listed on the National Register for Historic Places. Over the past 20 years, there has been over $30 million in restoration completed, all by volunteers, at Shea’s which allows Buffalo to keep the only surviving Tiffany designed theatre in magnificent condition for our patrons and the community.
Shea’s 710 Theatre is the latest space to be added to the Shea’s PAC campus. Housing 625 seats and offering Broadway productions and plays produced by local and international theatre companies, it is considered a “thrust stage”, where the stage projects into the auditorium and audiences can sit on three sides. Creating a welcome and intimate environment for theatre-goers, Shea’s 710 allows for a unique performance experience, with not a bad seat in the house. We are thrilled to have acquired this legacy space in 2011 and have enjoyed the dynamic production partnerships since.
Once Laube’s Old Spain, now a 237 seat “black box” theatre, Shea’s Smith Theatre has played host to Off-Broadway productions, comedy and collaborative productions with local theatre companies since 2000. Somewhat of a chameleon space, it also offers ample room for events and special occasions.