What It Looked Like Wednesday: Shea’s North Park in 1933

By Steve Cichon
steve@buffalostories.com
@stevebuffalo

Since the gloom-filled announcement of the closing of Hertel Avenue’s North Park Theatre in 2013, new owners have been pumping tens of thousands of dollars into a full restoration of one of Buffalo’s few intact 1920s movie houses.

Buffalo News archives

Opened by Buffalo movie magnate Michael Shea in 1920, Shea’s North Park has been thrilling and entertaining moviegoers in North Buffalo for more than 95 years.

The image above, with a marquee promoting Lilian Harvey and Lew Ayres in “My Weakness,” probably dates from the year that film was produced: 1933.

North Buffalonians will note the much less imposing signage on the front of the theater. The now-iconic neon glow of the current North Park sign didn’t debut until 1941. At the same time the new sign was erected, a new Carrier air conditioning system was installed, providing “the latest developments in the science of healthful cooling.”

 

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Steve Cichon

Steve Cichon is a proud Buffalonian helping the world experience the city he loves. writing about the people, places, and ideas that make Buffalo unique and special. The storyteller and historian has written six books, worn bow ties since the 80s, and is the News Director at WECK Radio. A 25 year Buffalo media veteran, Steve's contributed more than 1400 Buffalo History stories to The Buffalo News, worked at WIVB-TV, Empire Sports Network, and spent ten years as a newsman and News Director at WBEN Radio. He's also put his communication skills to work as an adjunct professor, a producer of PBS documentaries, and even run for Erie County Clerk. Steve's Buffalo roots run deep: all eight of his great-grandparents called Buffalo home, with his first ancestors arriving here in 1827.