Shea's Continues Restoration of "The Wonder Theatre"
A new grand drape on the stage of Shea's Buffalo Theatre is expected to be installed by this year's Curtain Up, September 18, 2015. Phase V and the final restoration of the auditorium will be completed by the end of the summer, 2015 which includes the installation of the new drape as well as the restoration of the balcony side walls (completed two weeks ago) and restoration of the surface of the main stage. The restoration of the auditorium ceiling and high walls was completed summer, 2014.
The fabric for the grand drape was manufactured in Austria and is being fabricated locally by Colvin Draperies. In addition to this project this summer, there has been restoration work to the First Aid Station at Shea's, and the planning stages for an elevator tower has begun.
For the remainder of this year, there will be small restoration projects completed throughout the theatre just in time for the historic theatre's 90th Anniversary in January, 2016.
The M&T Bank 2015-16 Broadway Series kicks off on September 29, 2015 with the opening of Disney's Newsies. The theatre is expecting to achieve a new record this season for subscriptions to the Series. Last season was a record of 13,741 season tickets sold.
Phase IV of the $2.5 million auditorium restoration and the final major restoration project of Shea's Buffalo Theatre began June 16, 2014. The $900,000 project inside the auditorium includes the restoration 80% of the ceiling including the dome and high walls. Peviously, Phase III of the auditorium restoration was completed which included the Proscenium and 20% of the ceiling.
The restoration is being done by Evergreene Architectural Arts of New York City, a nationally recognized restoration specialists, and a local company, Safespan, has constructed all of the scaffolding required for this major project.
Over the past 18 years, there has been $20 million in restoration completed at Shea's. Restoration is funded through private donations, Shea's fundraising events, and public grants.
It is important to note the distinction between restoration vs. renovation.
Modeled after European opera houses and listed on the National Registry of Historic Places, Shea's Buffalo Theatre opened in 1926 and is one of the only remaining Tiffany designed theatres in the country. Originally an elaborate movie house, Shea's later became a place for live vaudeville shows and virtually every great name in American show business had performed on its stage.
Today, Shea's Performing Arts Center (which encompasses Shea's Buffalo Theatre, Shea's Smith Theatre and 710 Main Theatre) operates as a full service performing arts center with over 250,000 patrons annually and presents the widest variety of performing arts in the region including touring Broadway musicals, concert artists, family shows, comedy, education programming, local school presentations, historic tours, special events and a free family film series.
Watch Our Restoration Video "Keeping Our History Alive"
Contact Doris Collins, Shea's restoration consultant, at 716-829-1155 to learn more about the Volunteer Restoration Program.
HISTORIC THEATRE TOURS of Shea's are available Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. (on non-show days). Adults are $8. Senors, students and groups (20 or more) are $4. To reserve a tour, call 716-829-1166.
SHEA'S MISSION STATEMENT
Shea's Performing Arts Center is 501 (c) (3) Not-For-Profit organization.