Shea's Teck Theatre
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
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
(from: Theatres of Buffalo - http://www.pbase.com/kjosker/theaters;
(from "An Oral and Visual History of Buffalo Movie Theaters
Buffalo, New York" - http://www.buffaloah.com/h/movie/oral/)
"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