BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - The North Park Theatre on Hertel Avenue opened in 1921. But it's current tenant, Dipson Theaters, announced they were planning to vacate the nearly 100-year-old theatre, leaving many wondering what would happen to the staple of the neighborhood.
Property owner Thomas Eoannou said, "Everybody that lives around here now went to matinees here. It's a wonderful art theatre, if not the best art theatre in the City of Buffalo."
Eoannou, a Buffalo attorney, has owned the building for several years. He says inside, all the equipment is original. The hallways feature gorgeous oil paintings and the mural inside was painted by reknowned artist Raphael Beck.
Dipson plans to leave the North Park on June 6. But Eoannou will be partnering with Mike Christiano from Left Bank to revitalize the North Buffalo icon.
"We will restore this theatre to the beautiful place that it should be and it will once again be the jewel of Hertel Avenue," Eoannou assured. "The minute Dipson is out of here, we will be starting work on this theatre. We'll get this marquee properly done, we'll get the rust off of it, we'll get that stain glass window exposed and we're going to have professional people come in and tell us how to do it right."
Eoannou says Dipson is pulling out due to the costs of maintaining and upgrading the building. The projector and new seats would each cost over $100,000.
The North Park is the oldest running theatre of the former Shea's Theatre chain in the country. It was once owned by Michael Shea himself. It is also was where the 1984 film "The Natural" starring Robert Redford held its world premiere.
No timetable has been announced for North Park's re-opening, but Eoannou says it will be done.
"I've always been in love with it, the opportunity has presented itself, it's just sitting here, it's beautiful and we need to make it happen," he said.
Buffalo Police have arrested 26-year-old Nicholas Finnegan of South Buffalo and charged him with pushing Russ Ross to his death.
The Niagara County Sheriff's responded to Saunders Settlement Road near Comstock in Cambria Friday night after receiving a tip about a suspected meth lab.
Police say there were 32 burglaries, 20 in Albion, five in Medina, four in Oakfield and three in the City of Lockport.
Firefighters had to withdraw from a smoky fire in Blasdell at a multi-dwelling home on South Park Avenue Friday night because the flames were so intense.
Call 4 Action looked into claims this week that members of BJ's Wholesale Club were paying too much on sales tax on some deeply discounted items.
State Police in Pennsylvania are investigating an alleged pedophile pastor already facing charges in Western New York.