Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Entertainment

May 19, 2006

Palace Theatre to air Sabres games at no cost

With the Buffalo Sabres seeming larger than life these days, Palace Theatre officials are offering a way to watch them on an appropriately sized screen.

The Historic Palace Theatre will play host to every game the Sabres play throughout the playoffs, according to Ellen Schratz, president of the board and Jim Kretz, executive director.

Admission is free, though donations to the not-for-profit theater are being accepted at the door. Beer, wine, concessions, pizza and wings will be sold.

“We’re hoping (turnout is) good,” Schratz said. “Everyone we’ve talked to about it says it sounds like a good idea.”

Schratz said after the Palace’s successful Super Bowl party, and given that Western New Yorkers are going “Cup Crazy” over the Sabres’ post season success, the decision seemed like a winner.

Kretz, who acknowledges part of the decision comes from his love for hockey, points to the success seen by Bisons officials, showing the games on the big screen at Dunn Tire Park in Buffalo.

“I saw it happen at Dunn Tire Park, the games (shown) there,” he said. “They had 3,000 people sitting in the rain. I can imagine better conditions here.”

Hockey fans dismayed by the possibility of not seeing the Sabres on television thanks to a contract signed with the Outdoor Life Network, which isn’t included on most Adelphia cable packages, can breath easier, though.

Adelphia announced Thursday that it has struck a deal to ensure that the two games slated to be OLN exclusively will be shown on basic cable free of charge. They can be found on Channel 71.

The remaining games will be carried by NBC. Local broadcasters Rick Jeanerette and Jim Lorentz are finished with television broadcasts for the season given that MSG’s broadcast rights ended after the second round. They can still be found on radio at WGR 550 AM.

Kretz, though, is hoping people will avoid the channel surfing to find the game.

“It’s an excellent idea,” he said. “You’ll see the hockey players bigger than you’ve ever seen them before, on a 50-foot screen.”

Game Four next Friday will be shown at the Palace on tape delay that night because of a previously booked engagement during the game.

Contact Eric DuVall at 439-9222, Ext. 6251.

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