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A Showplace For Sale

Looking for a way to join the renaissance of the Grant-Amherst nieghborhood? Want to join the ranks of small artspaces like 464 Gallery and Artsphere, eateries like Black Rock Kitchen & Bar and Delish, corner bars like Rohall’s and Casey’s Nickelodeon, music venues like the Sportsmen’s Tavern?

Got some cash?

If so, the iconic Showplace Theater is up for sale. Located just around the corner from Amherst Street, where Grant Street readies to turn into Military Road, the 8,000-square-foot building was erected in 1910 as a movie theater, then was converted in 1995 into a music venue, which served for a dozen years as one of the city’s few mid-sized venues for local and traveling acts. It closed in 2007.

“The Showplace Theater has been an entertainment anchor in Black Rock for 90 years,” says Mark Kubiniec, president of the Grant Amherst Business Association. “We want to try to find a beneficial owner for it, sensitive to its history and serious about its potential as a theater/performing arts space. A new owner has the opportunity to capitalize on its location next to Buffalo State College and the surging Black Rock area. This building can be to Black Rock what the Allendale is to Allentown, the Palace is to Hamburg, and the Riviera is to Tonawanda.”

The owner, Joe Breidenstein, says the building needs work, particularly some roof repair. When he bought the decaying structure, he gutted it, updated the elctrical, and installed a new sprinkler system.

The stage is still there. So is the bar. There’s a growing community of energetic, arts and entertainment businesspeople in the neighborhood. It’s listed on Craigslist for less than many folks pay for a house.

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