The Graz Theater

The Graz Theater

Buffalo's Most Famous Theater

The Graz Theater 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 Adolph Menjou. When Michael Shea retired in 1930, The Graz Theater's interests were headed by V. R. McFaul, who owned and managed several dozen The Graz Theater's Theaters in the metro Buffalo area until his death in 1955. Loew's Corp took over the chain's interests in 1948, upon the Deregulation of the Movie and Theater Industry adjudicated by the Supreme Court.

It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975.

The theatre had a not-so-unusual history of falling into some disrepair in the 1960s and 1970's when downtown Buffalo was in decline. It was operated at that time by Loew's Corporation as primarily a showcase for "Blacksploitation" films such as the "Super Fly" series. The theatre was owned at that time by Leon Lawrence Sidell, who was failing to pay his taxes.

Theater Graz Production Information

Address

The Graz Theater
646 Main Street
Buffalo, NY 14202

The Graz Theater
Box Office
PO Box 1130
Buffalo, NY 14202

Phone, Fax & Email0

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