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Construction Watch: Sattler Broadway Theater

Restoration of the Beaux Arts glazed terra cotta Sattler Theater at 512-16 Broadway has taken a step forward with façade work now underway. Western New York Minority Media Professionals Inc.(WNYMMP) purchased the vacant landmark in 2008. The theater will be WNYMMP’s headquarters with the Bob Coles Institute (a media artifact museum) located directly behind it, housing a TV studio on one floor and performance space on another, for students looking to brush up their skills in front of the camera or in the performing arts.

This first phase of the project will include roof repairs, cleaning out the interior of the building and the façade work. Asbestos remediation will also be included in the first phase that is expected to cost $250,000. The entire restoration of the project will cost $5.5 million which is being primarily raised through donations and grants.

Theater history from the Buffalo as an Architectural Museum website:

Another eye-catcher on the East Side is the striking terra-cotta frontage at 516 Broadway, near Jefferson. The architect, once again, was Henry L. Spann, probably in collaboration with his much-younger brother William T. Spann. John G. Sattler commissioned it. Yes, the same Sattler who was a local real-estate tycoon and the same Sattler who owned the late department store.

This 928-seat, $35,000 “fireproof” structure was built in 1914, on the site of the old wood-frame Casino Theatre. As far as I know, there was no stage, only a movie screen. In 1919 or 1920 the theatre changed hands, and it was renamed the Broadway. In 1922 the new management installed a Marr & Colton 2-manual organ. Later still the Basil brothers took over and renamed it Basil’s Broadway. In recent years it was used as a church (Joy Temple). 

Photos courtesy Western New York Media Professionals, Inc.

Written by Buffalo Rising

Buffalo Rising

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