Live Performances to Return to Former Studio Arena

May 8, 2012 Updated Oct 26, 2013 at 4:03 PM EDT

By WKBW News

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Live Performances to Return to Former Studio Arena

May 8, 2012 Updated Oct 26, 2013 at 4:03 PM EDT

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) - After sitting vacant since 2008, the former Studio Arena Theater, located at 710 Main Street, will soon be hosting live theater productions.

The non-profit group 710 Main Street Inc., acquired the building at foreclosure auction for just over $2 million Tuesday.

The new ownership group his entered into a management and programming agreement with Shea's Performing Arts Center.

"We are going to be working with local theater companies, university, regional theater companies and New York companies to bring product to the stage for the patrons of Buffalo," said Shea's President Tony Conte at a Tuesday press conference outside of the theater.

While the specific programming schedule has yet to be determined, Ross Eckert, Board President of 710 Main Inc. says the theater will look to host more dramatic productions, and says that theater will be hosting a production for this fall's Curtain Up.

He also noted the impact the reopening of the building will have on the bustling downtown theater district.

"I think it's extremely important, absolutely, to the restaurants, to the whole community that really revolves around theater in this area of Buffalo. It's important. Cultural tourism, it's a big draw," said Eckert.

This endeavor has also brought much enthusiasm from local cultural and theater officials.

President of the Theater Alliance of Buffalo Robert Brunschmid said "The Theater Alliance of Buffalo applauds Tony Conte and the dedicated Board of Directors at Shea's for their unwavering efforts to bring the lights back up at the 710 Main Street theater. Buffalo is fortunate to have such a vibrant theater community and the re-opening of this space will only enhance the diversity of theater experiences available to Western New Yorkers."

Studio Arena Theater has been closed since February, 2008 citing $3 million in debt and laying off its staff.