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It became increasingly clear starting in 2007 that the very first permanent, purpose-built motion picture theater in the world opened in Buffalo, New York on October 19, 1896. With that heritage, Buffalo, New York is truly the "Birthplace of the Movie Theater."

Buffalo, New York originally had more than 200 movie theaters (and another 200 or more legitimate theaters) that were built in the 19th and 20th Century. Only a handful of these spectacular theatres have survived the wreckers ball: Shea's Buffalo, Riviera, North Park and another precious few throughout Western New York.

A decreasing number of people still remember the theaters that are now gone (Lafayette, Great Lakes, Paramount, Colvin and the rest).

These now lost theaters are an important part of world architectural history as well as an integral part of what made Buffalo a great and distinctive city.

Here is a place to share memories, photos and scholarship about Buffalo's unique contribution to Art, Architecture, and Hollywood.

Renewing a warm interest in these wonderful community-centric theaters may help to create a climate in Western New York (and other places) that will help to preserve, restore, and reconstruct more and more authentic Motion Picture Theaters dating from and including that first Buffalo Theater: The 1896, Mark Brothers' Vitascope Theater.

Group Information

  • 60
  • General
  • Sep 24, 2005
  • English

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