Shea's - Table of Contents

2015 Stage Curtain Replacement
Shea's Buffalo Theatre / Shea's Performing Arts Center
646 Main Street, Buffalo, New York

Shea's Buffalo Center for the Performing Arts - Official Home Page


Shea's Buffalo theater built:
1925-2196
Building architect:
C. W. & Geo. L. Rapp, Architects, Chicago.
Interior architect:
Louis C. Tiffany Co.
Exterior and interior style:
Baroque Revival
1925 Woven curtain designer:
C. W. & Geo. L. Rapp, Architects, Chicago.
Design used in 1925 curtain
1925 Competing curtain designer: Louis C. Tiffany Co.
Design not used until 2015 in the third curtain
2015  curtain fabricator:
Backhausen, Austria
First Curtain - 1926


 Proscenium arch with the 1926 curtain designed by building architects C. W. & Geo. L. Rapp of Chicago ... Note light weight wooden latticework ... 45' high curtain was raised vertically into the 110' high ceiling ... Note  scalloped valance



Second Curtain - 1960s


Second Curtain - 1960s.
Cleaned in 1998: 400 pounds of dust and dirt removed ... Threadbare fringes indicated that a replacement curtain was needed.



Backhausen of Austria


The weavers for the 2015 curtain was Backhausen, in Austria, in part because the company had done such a nice job weaving the lobby drapes based in part on the 1925 Tiffany designed curtain valance, seen below:



Woven by Backhausen of Austria  ... Shea's Restoration Manager Doris Collins visited Backhausen for quality control ...Detail below:







Third Curtain -  2015




1925  Tiffany Curtain Design ...  This design was NOT used in the first or second woven curtains ... The 2015 third curtain, however, does use the Tiffany design.







Third Curtain.

Valance:  Woven ca. 1998,  not the 1925 Tiffany design ... Polyester fabric meets New York State fire code standards.

Double curtain: Woven by Backhausen in 2015 using the Tiffany design ... 45' high curtain is raised vertically into the 110' high  ceiling ... Each of the two panels weighs 410 lbs.

Shea's Restoration Manager Doris Collins visited Backhausen for quality control for the second time.




Baroque Revival cloth-reinforced plasterwork above the curtain is faithful to the Tiffany interior design ...  Restored in 2014




2015 curtain center bottom  ... Uses the Tiffany design and woven  by Backhausen of Austria ... Over 100 yards of material  ... Five details below:



Detail #1... Ground color matches the c. 1998 polyester valance




Detail #2



Detail #3



Detail #4



Detail #5 fringe




2015 double curtain ... Peeking from backstage into the auditorium






Special thanks to Shea's President Anthony Conte for his cooperation and to Shea's Restoration Manager Doris Collins for her assistance in October 2015

Photos and their arrangement 2015 Chuck LaChiusa
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