North Park Theatre Sneak Peek Fundraising Gala - PHOTOS
by Robin David Brown • December 28, 2013 @ 4:31pm
Continuing a trend of spectacular restorations in the city of Buffalo (see Shea’s Performing Arts Center and Hotel Lafayette); a fundraiser for the restoration of the North Park Theatre was held on Friday night in North Buffalo.
The North Park Theatre owners, attorney Thomas J. Eoannou and Left Bank restaurant owner Michael G. Christiano, showed off the ornate and grandiose beauty being brought back to life by their restoration efforts. During a speech given by the co-owners, they cited the tireless efforts of a crew of builders, plumbers, electricians, and the art and plaster restoration work being completed by Swiatek Studios.
I spoke with the owner of Swiatek Studios, Bret Swiatek (pictured in the center of our lead smile shot with wife Nicole and friends), who explained that while they have completed work on part of the theater such as the dome in the center of the ceiling; there is much more work to do as they uncover the artwork that has been hidden behind the theater’s current projection screen.
They will be exposing parts of the theater’s ornate detail and artwork that the public hasn’t seen since it was opened in 1920 as Shea’s North Park Theatre. Swiatek also said that artwork and details that will remain covered by the screen will be displayed to patrons through photographs that will be displayed in the lobby.
The fundraiser was a big success as the massive space was packed full of supporters of the restoration which included many public figures (see photos of Senator Mark Grisanti and Erie County Clerk Chris Jacobs in the gallery) as well as prominent figures from the private sector.
I spoke with many enthusiastic attendees who had grown up spending many Saturday afternoons taking in a show at this prominent North Buffalo landmark. The common theme of the night though was that this restoration is possible because of a Buffalo community that is actively participating in preserving it’s rich history while building a better Buffalo for future generations to enjoy.
Check out the photo gallery for detail shots of the awesome restoration work as well as shots of the gala attendees who were there to support it.
For more on The North Park Theatre Restoration Project - http://northparktheatre.org/
Photography by Robin David Brown - http://www.robindavidbrown.com/