Four Star Theatre

1950 S. Division Avenue,
Grand Rapids, MI 49507

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Four Star Theatre

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Opened in 1938 as a sub-run theatre and remained the same until its closing in 1969. The building now houses a youth center.

Contributed by Chuck Van Bibber

Recent comments (view all 7 comments)

kencmcintyre on August 28, 2007 at 6:43 pm

In 1963, the Four Star was operated by B&J Theatres of Grand Rapids. Allen Johnson was the president. Butterfield Circuit was listed as the film buyer and booker. Presumably that’s where the initials came from. Besides the Four Star, B&J also operated the Wealthy and Eastown, both in Grand Rapids.

Twistr54 on March 1, 2010 at 1:00 pm

They ran pictures in the 70’s, grindhouse type, was a dance bar in the 90s, I was there once in 1991. Quite large auditorium, good slant to the floor, decent sized stage screen area, could of had a good big wide screen… Deco flavor thru the building, in 91, li looked in pretty good shape, but there is no parking, a tiny lot next to building good for about 5 cars, neighborhood has gown down, when I lived in GR, it was a rough black neighborhood, but the Mexicans have moved into this area now….. im sure its still full of crime, it looks very dirty, dangerous, and seedy near this area, Divison and Burton.

Twistr54 on March 1, 2010 at 1:01 pm

The Burton Capri is just 2 blocks south of this 4 Star theatre.

TLSLOEWS on March 1, 2010 at 1:34 pm

Its seen its better days.

TLSLOEWS on March 3, 2010 at 11:56 am

Very sad looking marquee ken mc.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 24, 2010 at 12:19 am

Boxoffice of August 13, 1938, says that construction had begun on the B&J circuit’s new Four Star Theatre in Grand Rapids. The architect of this neighborhood house was Frank L. Proctor. An ad for the American Seating Company in Boxoffice of December 10, 1938, also names Proctor, and has a small photo of the facade (lower left.)

All I’ve been able to dig up about Proctor on the Internet is that in 1907 he was a draftsman for the Grand Rapids architectural firm Williamson & Crow, and that the 1920 City Directory lists him as a partner of architect Henry E. Crow in Crow & Proctor, though Williamson was also listed as being in the same office. Proctor was apparently in a solo practice by the time he designed the Four Star.

Frank L. Proctor was probably also the architect of that name who, in 1905, modified plans by the firm of Winslow & Bigelow for a stable at an estate called Holmdene which is now the campus of Aquinus College. The former stable, by th en converted to other use, was rebuilt following a fire in 1978 (it is now a chapel), so I don’t know how much, if any, of the original building survives. I can’t find anything about any other buildings Proctor designed, but if the Four Star was typical of his work they’d certainly be worth a look.

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