Businesses prepare to welcome people back to the theatre district as Disney’s Frozen takes over Shea’s

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BUFFALO N.Y. (WIVB) – Buffalo’s Theatre District is being brought back to life now that Disney’s Frozen is set to take the stage at Shea’s Performing Arts. It’s expected to draw thousands of people to main street and business along main street are getting ready to welcome people back.

“It’s almost surreal, it’s almost like I can’t believe it until it happens but we’re definitely prepared for it,” said Rex Keppel, who co-owns the bar Matinee. “Knowing that Shea’s, and all the theatres around us are starting to ramp up a bit, it’s really exciting for all of us to come back to life and do all the stuff over again.”

Keppel says the Theatre District has been quiet throughout the pandemic, because there haven’t been any performances. He says no shows means no crowds.

“It’s unfortunate that a lot of businesses around here closed but I mean what do you expect? he said. “No one is coming downtown when there’s no entertainment. There’s nothing to do down here and that’s what we all built all of our businesses around.”

However this Friday the curtain finally opens at Shea’s with Disney’s Frozen taking over the stage for two weeks.

The restaurant Hearth and Press, which is located across the street from Shea’s is also looking forward to filling up their tables.

“We were busy every single Shea’s night,” owner Peter Eid said. “We were pretty much sold out. Going from that to almost becoming a take out place, was very difficult on us. I mean not seeing anyone on main street for a year and a half to seeing a few people, and now we’re hoping to see a lot of people, it’s very exciting.”

Sarah Minkewicz is a reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here.

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