Lucille Ball Little Theatre

18 E. Second Street,
Jamestown, NY 14701

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Dipson Circuit, Shea Theatres

Architects: Victor A. Rigaumont

Functions: Live Theatre

Previous Names: Allen's Opera House, Samuel's Opera House, Shea's Theatre, Park Theatre, Little Theatre

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Lucille Ball Little Theatre

Allen’s Opera House opened on September 3, 1874, but the original building was destroyed by fire in 1881. The house was rebuilt by the original owner, Abner E. Allen, but financial losses due to another fire in 1894 resulted in the sale of the house to Charles Samuels in 1898.

The theatre operated as the Samuels Opera House until being taken over by the Shea circuit in 1919. It was extensively rebuilt in 1927 to the plans of architect Victor A. Rigaumont. It operated as Shea’s Theatre until the early-1960’s, though in its later years it was operated by the Dipson circuit.

The house had been dark for several years when it was obtained by the Jamestown Little Theatre group in 1968. The house was reopened as The Little Theatre on April 19, 1969. After the death of actress and Jamestown native Lucille Ball, the house was renamed in her honor, being rededicated as the Lucille Ball Little Theatre of Jamestown on May 24, 1991.

In its earlier years, the house had seated about 1,800, but the interior had suffered severe deterioration during the years it was vacant, and Jamestown Little Theatre chose to build a smaller auditorium within the gutted shell, and it now seats 400.

Contributed by Joe Vogel

Recent comments (view all 3 comments)

schlickrt on May 1, 2014 at 11:52 am


Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 17, 2015 at 2:30 am

When Shea’s Theatre was extensively rebuilt in 1927, the architect for the project was Victor A. Rigaumont. This PDF of a page from the November 1 issue of the Jamestown Evening Journal has an illustration of the auditorium and a few paragraphs about Rigaumont.

fabulousfubby on April 20, 2022 at 7:57 am

It was also known as Park Theatre in 1955.

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