One block north of the Hyatt begins the restored Theater District, a 20-block area extending west as far as Delaware Avenue and north to Tupper Street. A half-dozen theaters and cabarets operate here, along with restaurants, galleries, and shops. Along Chippewa Street is the Chippewa District, known for its nightclubs .
Buffalo  has an impressive theater history, which began in the mid-1800s, thanks to the traffic along the Erie Canal . Dozens of theaters catering to travelers sprang up almost overnight, and by the turn of the 20th century, Buffalo was one of the country’s foremost drama centers. Actress Katherine Cornell, songwriter Harold Arlen, and choreographer Michael Bennett are among the many who’ve come out of Buffalo’s performing arts scene.
The centerpiece of the district is Shea’s Performing Arts Center (646 Main St., 716/847-1410, www.sheas.org ), an opulent 1926 movie palace filled with marble and gilt. Saved at the last moment from the wrecker’s ball in 1975, Shea’s is now fully restored. Tours are available by calling (716) 829-1166.
To find out more about what’s happening in the city arts-wise, pick up a copy of ArtVoice (716/881-6604), a free biweekly publication.