Comments from JaxonFilmFest

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JaxonFilmFest commented about Majestic Theater on Aug 31, 2013 at 11:51 am

If you read the thread correctly, the auditorium of this theater was demolished. The front of the original building still stands.

JaxonFilmFest commented about Bohm Theatre on Apr 15, 2013 at 9:56 am

Albion’s Bohm Theatre to be subject of documentary produced in part by Jackson-based Duality Films

JaxonFilmFest commented about Bohm Theatre on Jan 13, 2013 at 5:43 pm

More on the Bohm Theatre, Albion.

JaxonFilmFest commented about Bohm Theatre on Jan 13, 2013 at 5:33 pm

Here are some great photos of the Bohm Theatre, Albion. This theater is being remodeled and should be opening soon.

JaxonFilmFest commented about Family Theater on Dec 11, 2012 at 9:59 pm

Here’s is possibly the last words on the Family Theater, this from the Citizen Pat, 3/18/65
Family Theater Fire Blamed on Intruders A gust-fanned fire which swept the upper portion of the empty Family Theater at 113n. Otsego Wednesday afternoon is believed to have been accidentally started by intruders who used the building to sleep in.

Jackson Fire Chief Leo M. Fox said the firs could have been started by a discarded cigarette or by coals used to ekeep the dwellers warm.

He said that charred papers found on the floor hould have veen used for a bed.

The fire apparently started near the projection room door and ran up the partition.

Most heavily damaged were offices around the projection booth and the small balcony:

The theater, a former livery stable, had been vacant for about two years and is scheduled to be razed under the city’s urban renewal program, along with other buildings to which it is connected.

The city bough it in June.

The fire, which at one time was sending sheets of flame and heavy, thick gray smoke through windows directly above the marquee, was brought under control about an hour after the firemen arrived.

Eight fire department vehicles were sent to the scene.

After blasting the face of the fire with high pressure water bursts, the black helmeted, gas masked firemen began making their way int o the theater and to buildings attached to each side of it, all of which front on N. Otsego or E Michigan Avenues.

Other buildings which absorbed quantities of smoke and are due to be deolished along with the theater are the U.S. Trading Store, the Ira Scott upholstery store, and the Royal Banner Cigar Store, once owned by Lyle Burden.

Some patrons in Eddie’s Bar, next to the Royal Banner building, took to the sidewalks soon after the fire was discovered aand then slowly drited back after danger of the fire spreading had lessened.

The fire was discvoered about 3 p. m. by Carl Rosiling, a Citizen Patriot employe who alerted Mrs. Robert W. Welman, 3600 Seymour Rd., operator of the Gold Bell Gift Redemption Center, 144 E. Michigan. She called the fire department.

The 800 seat Family Theater was purchased for $24,500 on June 5, 1964, by he city from Daniel C. Haefner and the National Bank of Jackson. Mr. Haefner previously had leased the building to Harry C. Small, 2001 Blen.

Mr. Small said he operated the theater for 20 years beginning in 1943. He said it was formerly a Butterfield theater.

JaxonFilmFest commented about Family Theater on Dec 11, 2012 at 9:12 pm

According to an article which appeared in the Citizen Patriot, April 21, 1913: The “Family Theater” will be the name Jackson’s newest amusement house which will open its doors May 4. Frank L. O'Melay, the owner, has decided upon above the name. Carpenters and finishers are now busy on the building, which, when completed when completed will have a seating capacity of 800 persons. Vaudeville and motion pictures will be presented. The lobby, when completed, will be exceptionally completed. The theater will be equipped with washrooms and toilets. Mush attention has been given to the interior lighting of the playhouse and plans are being made for the entrance on East Main Street. The playhouse has been so constructed that it will be cool during the hot days of summer. An excellent orchestra has been engaged to furnish music.

JaxonFilmFest commented about Family Theater on Dec 9, 2012 at 2:53 am

Further information on the Family Theater:

JaxonFilmFest commented about Majestic Theater on Dec 6, 2012 at 12:07 pm

@Chuck 1231, here is another list of the theaters which exist(ed) in Jackson. Bel Air Drive-In Theatre 2603 W Michigan Ave [1905-1908] Bijou Theatre 130 W Michigan Ave [1912-?] Bon Ton Theatre 240 E Michigan Ave [1916-1973] William L Pereira Capitol Theatre 130 W Michigan Ave AKA: Orpheum [1913-?] Colonial Theatre, 1630 E Michigan Ave, [1909-1917] Crown Theatre, W Michigan Ave[1913-1962] Family Theatre, Michigan Ave & Mechanic St, Ideal Theatre, 228 E Main St, Goodrich Quality Theaters Jackson 10, 1501 N Wisner St, [1948-?] Jackson Drive-In Theatre, 4400 Ann Arbor Rd, [1898-1954] Majestic Theatre (AKA: Athenaeum (above)), 234 S Mechanic St, Michigan Theatre, 124 N Mechanic St, [1970- ] Carmike Cinemas, Plaza Cinemas, 1700 N Wisner St, [1908-?] Regent Theatre(Formerly Hibbard Livery Stables, then Hibbard Opera House AKA: Bijou), 201-07 Francis St, [1911-1951] Rex Theatre (AKA: Kuhl) 172 W Michigan Ave, Rialto Theatre 1708 Francis St, [1908-1909] Star Theatre, 107 W Main St, Strand Theatre, 245 E Michigan Ave,[1906-?]Subway Theatre, 210 E Main St, Temple Theatre, Michigan Ave Victor Theatre, Michigan Ave, Westwood Cinemas, 1794 W Michigan Ave, Wonderland Theatre (AKA: Assembly Hall Theatre, 124 E Cortland St, [1912-?]

I am presently working on a book on Jackson’s theaters and will have more information on many of these shortly. (If okay with this site’s administrators, I would like to add some of this information to the site.)

JaxonFilmFest commented about Capitol Theatre on Oct 14, 2012 at 12:32 am

The Capitol Theatre opened as The Orpheum on Feb. 24, 1916, and was quickly billed as “Jackson’s temple of vaudeville.” It boasted both luxury and innovation, including a 29-foot-by-30-foot frameless, asbestos stage curtain that was fire resistant yet beautiful with its scenic depiction of Pharaoh’s daughter finding the infant Moses in the bull rushes.

Scenery included a New York City street set showing Herald Square at night. Three kinds of marble decorated the entrance. There was two-tone blue velvet carpeting on the stairs leading to the balcony and a mural covered the whole front ceiling.

An opening night vaudeville show that included a sketch from Jackson playwright Fred Beaman, a comedy circus and Russian vocalists was seen by about 2,600 people.

The Orpheum became The Capitol in 1922 when motion pictures started to replace live theater performances. Jackson’s first radio station, WIBJ-AM, broadcast from its basement until relocating in 1927.

The Capitol was remodeled in 1937 after suffering damage during construction of the Tower Building.

It had 869 seats and was owned by the Butterfield Circuit (Publix-Paramount).

JaxonFilmFest commented about Majestic Theater on Oct 14, 2012 at 12:16 am

According to one source I have found, the Antheneum/Majestic Theatre had 869 seats. Its owners (in order of the years of ownership) included 1920 W. S. McLaren, 1925 Harold Frank, 1935-1955 Butterfield Circuit (Publix- Paramount). The Butterfield Circuit was the same as owned the Michigan Theatre at 124 N. Mechanic St.

JaxonFilmFest commented about Family Theater on Oct 14, 2012 at 12:12 am

According to one source I have found, the Family Theatre @ 113 N Otsego (1920-? 1960) had 500 seats. This Afro-American theatre was owned by Co-operative Theaters of Michigan in 1935-1940.

JaxonFilmFest commented about Majestic Theater on Oct 13, 2012 at 11:55 pm

Here is some information that I found elsewhere on the web. These are the particulars of the Antheneum/Majestic Theatre,

According to this page, the Antheneum/Majestic Theatre enjoyed these claims to fame: “During the mid-1920s Jackson Theater-goers enjoyed what was then a record breaking run, 92 consecutive weeks of dramatic stock – a new play being presented each week – at the Majestic Theater” (Frank 1964). The Great Central Mid-Winter Circus with Dan Rice appeared at the Athenaeum on January 16 thru 18, 1899 (Frank 1974).

JaxonFilmFest commented about Majestic Theater on Oct 9, 2012 at 4:57 am

Can you imagine being large enough to accommodate the city library and the home of the Michigan Bell Telephone offices? According to a source the stage was large enough that it accommodated live horses galloping toward the crowd during “Ben Hur.” Although the auditorium was razed, the front of this building still stands much as it appears above. Looking at this photo it appears as though the small building next door was a grocery store. Today it is a garage.