One of the last un-renovated buildings on the 500 Block of Main Street has a new owner. Based on the buyer’s LLC name, the property may have a residential future. “Vendome Theater Lofts LLC” purchased the property from WNYRT LLC for $486,000. The 8,000 sq.ft. building had a $550,000 asking price.
The building is located between Roger Trettel’s three-building redevelopment that is anchored by Misuta Chow’s and Kevin Helfer and Paul Lamparelli’s renovated 535 Main Street that is home to D’Avolio’s Kitchen.
Venedome Theater opened on the site in 1909. From a comment Joe Vogel left on the Cinema Treasures website in 2013:
This PDF from rjbuffalo.com gives the theater at 525 Main Street, Buffalo, a whole string of aka’s. It opened as the Vendome Theatre in 1909. On February 4, 1912, it became the Happy Hour Theatre, and retained that name until ca.1931, when it was renamed the Embassy Theatre. On April 17, 1942, it became the Telenews Theatre, but was renamed the Vogue Theatre in May, 1946. Two years later it returned to the name Telenews, but was renamed the Guild Theatre by 1950.
The document notes that the Vendome was apparently a conversion of an existing building and the theater was designed by architect F.A. Baynes; that it extended through the block to Washington Street; and that at the time the document was written it housed a Chinese restaurant, which is apparently still there. Google Street View shows the Washington Street end of the building, as Main Street has been converted into a transit mall and the camera car didn’t travel along this block of it.
The document also carries a cryptic note saying “Not to be confused with the Empire at 261 Main, the Empire at 1514 Main, or the Empire at 164–170 Pearl.” This is odd, as Empire Theatre is not listed among the aka’s for the house.
The LLC was registered with New York State last fall with a Grand Island mailing address. The address listed on the sale’s County Clerk recording is a law office on Evans Street in Williamsville. Sources say potential buyers of 525 Main have also looked at buying neighboring 529 Main Street from James Sandoro which is on the market. We’ll be watching sales for movement on that property.