Marlowe Theater


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Photo credit: Mike Puma ViewsOfBuffalo,Cinema Treasures,BuffaloAH,Karl Josker


257 Virginia Street, Buffalo, NY 14201
SBL: 111.29-1-2
Fillmore Council District
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Across from: 251 Virginia Street , 254 Virginia Street , 272 Virginia Street


  • Hispanics United of Buffalo

Physical Description

Two story brick, 998 (originally 650) seat theater

Current Condition

Demolished. Vacant lot.


  • March 25, 1913 - John R. Oishei, the founder of Trico, hires architect William Andrew Kidd for his new theater
  • 1915 - Theater construction completed
  • 1929 - The Marlowe was purchased by Matthew M. Konczakowski
  • 1941 - Konczakowski spent $70,000 dollars on a complete overhaul, doubling the original size, adding air-conditioning, and changing the facade.
    • The architect of the Art Deco remodel was William L. Spann
  • When Konczakowski died, the theater operation ended and it changed hands multiple times, being used as a church by various organizations.
  • 1979 - A feasibility study by the Community Planning Association Center of WNY to renovate the building as convention space for Hispanic cultural and social activities failed to generate any development activity.
History courtesy Views of Buffalo

Recent Events and Actions Taken

  • 2007 - Prince of Peace Church vacated the Marlowe
  • 2012 - Hispanics United purchased it and considered reuse, before settling on demolition instead. Demo contractors told Views of Buffalo that the deterioration of the exterior was mostly face bricks, not structural.
    • A three story, residential building was slated to take its place. The site remains a vacant lot years later.
  • April 2012 - Theater demolished

Other Pertinent Facts

  • The Marlowe was named after one of Oishei’s favorite actresses, Julia Marlowe.
  • Oishei owned and built a number of other theaters throughout Buffalo, including the Teck Theater.


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Added 2014-06-26 • Last changed 2018-02-21