1 Curtain Up Alley
Hours: 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
Last admittance to building: 4:00 pm
Photography and filming allowed with tripod
Wheelchair accessible: Yes
Public restrooms: Yes
Visit Buffalo’s home for new plays in this 1941 Art Moderne former Greyhound Bus Terminal. A new mural and bar are featured in the lobby, and Salvador Dali exhibit in the gallery. Free presentations at the bottom of every hour guide visitors through the process of making new plays here at the Alleyway. Live performance of WHITE RABBIT RED RABBIT (a Buffalo premiere play) onstage tonight through October 3. Special discounts available on site.
Alleyway Theatre is located in Buffalo, New York’s historic Theatre District.
Constructed in 1941 by Central Greyhound Lines, the building served for decades as the city’s primary bus depot. It is one of the many terminals designed by nationally prominent architect William S. Arrasmith of Louisville who created over one hundred stations for Greyhound in the late thirties and early forties.
The Alleyway Building is one of Buffalo’s most prominent examples of the Art Moderne style. The streamlined two story structure boasts the important features which defined the work of W. S. Arrasmith including round windows, curved wall surfaces, stainless steel and aluminum alloy trimmings, terrazzo floors, limestone façade, and exterior surfaces of glazed tile.
This building is one of only a handful of Mr. Arrasmith’s creations which is still standing.
Greyhound moved to new facilities in the late seventies. During the summer of 1979 the depot was used by Metro Goldwyn Mayer in connection with the film “Hide In Plain Sight.”
On June 9, 1979 the City of Buffalo announced that it would purchase the depot from Greyhound Corporation for $50,000, and renovate a portion of the building as a police station.
In July, 1983 the Buffalo Theatre Collective began leasing other space within the building from the City with plans to develop a theatre which opened as Alleyway Theatre on December 5, l985. On August 8, 1985 the alley that connects Main and Pearl Streets along the building’s South side was dedicated as “Curtain Up! Alley.”
The construction of a new police precinct house resulted in the departure of police from the building in 2000. Alleyway Theatre Incorporated took full occupancy of the 33,000 sq. ft. building in April, 2001 and immediately began repairs. The project to renovate the building and restore its façade and important interior Art Moderne features began in January, 2003.
The $1.5 million adaptive re-use project resulted in a theatre facility that includes a ninety-nine seat black box style theatre, a seventy seat cabaret theatre, a spacious lobby with grand stair case, administrative offices, rehearsal halls, scenery and costume shops, dressing rooms, an exhibit gallery and a conference room. Architects for the renovation project were Dominic Palmisano and Sandy Edelman of Palmisano Architecture And Design.
The facility celebrated its grand re-opening on September 14, 2005. Following the closure of the building due to Covid, its lobby received a mural installation by Audra Linsner and new bar in the summer of 2021.