Frolic Theater

146 W. Main Street,
Midland, MI 48640

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Frolic Theater...Midland Michigan

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Frolic Theater in Midland, Michigan dates back to at least 1927 when a Robert-Morton theater organ size 2/6 was installed.

The theater was still operating into the 1950’s.

Contributed by Lost Memory

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 13, 2009 at 1:09 am

Either Boxoffice’s reports of May 15 and May 29, 1943, were exaggerated, or the Frolic Theatre was rebuilt after being destroyed by a fire that month. One item claimed a loss of $200,000. It also said that the Frolic had originally opened in 1921.

I can’t find any Boxoffice items about a rebuilding or reopening of the house, but the June 16, 1945, issue of Boxoffice says that Bill Cassidy was operating the Frolic Theatre in Midland, and the Frolic is mentioned in at least one 1951 issue of Boxoffice, so a theater of that name was operating in Midland for quite some time after the fire.

The handsome moderne facade in the historic photo Lost Memory linked to above was the work of the Dearborn, Michigan, architectural firm of Bennett and Straight, who remodeled the house in 1936. The project was the subject of an article by E.D. Straight in the October 17 issue of Boxoffice that year.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 8, 2012 at 8:30 am

The 1936 Boxoffice article about the Frolic Theatre can be seen at this link. A photo and partial floor plan appear on the subsequent page.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 3, 2014 at 8:38 pm

The fire at the Frolic Theatre in April, 1943, is confirmed by an article in the January 6, 1944, issue of The Film Daily. The Frolic was one of the theaters suffering a fire the previous year that had received permission from the War Production Board to rebuild. This is the portion of the article dealing with the Frolic:

“The second approval was for reconstruction of the Frolic Theater, Midland, Mich., owned by W. A. Cassidy of that city. Cost for repair of extensive fire damage to this 1,008-seat theater, which occurred last April, is estimated at $21,500. In justifying this application OCR pointed out that booth equipment and second hand chairs were on hand, that the Midland area now has a population of 20,000 with an additional 5,000 expected. (Dow Chemical has a large plant in Midland). Little additional critical material is required and the local labor situation is reported favorable, with all public utility connections available.”

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