Shea's Teck Theatre

Buffalo, NY

Also known as: Music Hall, Shubert Teck, Loew's Teck.
Location: 766 Main Street, Buffalo, NY
(Southwest corner of Main and Edward Streets, across the street from St. Louis RC Church)
Architect: August Esenwein Style: French Renaissance Revival
Status: Closed/Demolished

Stone carvers take a break from their work on the rebuilt Music Hall about 1886.
The building, which housed Buffalo's fist symphony orchestra, later became the Teck Theatre.

The Teck Theatre was built on the site of the great 1883 Greman Saengerhalle (a concert venue which was destroyed by fire in 1885). The Music Hall opened on October 18, 1887 and later was completely remodeled into Shea's Teck Theater in 1900, with a seating capacity in two separate halls of 3,350. In 1908 it was taken over by the Shubert organization, which ran it as a live theatre until 1933 when it was closed during the Depression.

It remained closed until 1945 when it was gutted internally and most of the front facade was removed and rebuilt and it re-opened as a movie theatre known as Shea's Teck Theatre from 1945. The seating was all on one level and the decorative scheme was described as 'Pompeian Moderne'.

Shea's Teck was converted for 3-projector Cinerama in the 1950's and ran all films made in that format (both 3 projector and single projector) until the Cinerama era was over. Subsequently it ran "normal" films on the curved screen leftover from "single projector" Cinerama.
This was also known as the Loew's Teck. It played both 3 strip and 70 mm Cinerama. 3 strip was played from 3/16/56 thru 2/17/58 and then from 3/16/62 thru 7/28/63. It played the 70mm Cinerama from 3/25/64 thru 9/9/64. The curved screen measured 78ft by 28ft.

The Teck theater died a slow death. The auditorium was one of the buildings demolished when the city seized the property to extend Pearl St to meet Main. That left the lobby, entrance and marquee standing, ending suddenly at a brick wall and with no useful purpose. Even access to the lower level was sealed up with concrete. With the closing of Main St to vehicle traffic, downtown redevelopment came to a halt and no offers came forth for reuse of the remaining property. Eventually the last few buildings at the end of the block, including what was left of the theater were demolished in the late 80's-early 90's.

(from: Theatres of Buffalo -;

(from "An Oral and Visual History of Buffalo Movie Theaters Buffalo, New York" -

"The Teck (Shea's) was a white elephant from the day it opened."

"Somewhere in all of the reminiscences about Buffalo theatres someone mentioned that the Teck theatre was less than first rate. Three, or maybe four generations back it was the major legitimate theatre in Buffalo. My Dad was the pianist there for several years but took up another instrument because he was put on standby pay when the touring companies brought their own pianist. (It did give him the opportunity to be a spear-carrier in one of the operas that played there during his piano playing tenure.) When the Erlanger opened the Teck fell on harder times."

There is nothing left of the Teck now but the empty lot it stood on, empty and covered with weeds.

Programs available onsite from this theatre:

  • Captain Molly / 1902
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