Movies at West Main

148 West Main Street,
Kalamazoo, MI 49009

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JAlex
JAlex on July 12, 2013 at 8:14 am

If my recollections are correct, this theatre opened under the management of Fabian theatres…soon taken over by UA Theatres. If not opened by Fabian, Fabian initiated plans for the house.

cgimovieman
cgimovieman on July 11, 2013 at 7:41 pm

I had a very surreal experience at these theaters in the summer of 1993. My sister was considering attending Western, and while she and my parents spent the day touring campus, I asked to just be dropped off at the movies all day. I remember it vividly. At the time, the mall itself I believe was out of business, but the theaters were still open. I walked through what was essentially the abandoned mall, that looked a lot like it was partially trapped in the 1970’s look. Very strange to walk through an empty mall like like that that seemed trapped in time. I can remember most of the lights were even off. At the theater, I saw Homeward Bound The Incredible Journey, Alive, and Groundhog Day. One right after the other and getting refills on my popcorn and drink. The first two movies of those two were in typical boxy slightly small multiplex theaters. However, I can remember the theater that I saw Groundhog Day in being pretty massive, and had some ornate details throughout. For all of these movies, I think I was the only person in each theater. Again, adding the surreal feeling. As for the big theater, I could imagine how it used to be in it’s early days and how great it must have been. It was a really fun little ride spending the whole day movie-watching in the theaters, despite their not being the greatest venues. I wish I could find pictures of their interiors somewhere, or a few better old pics of the mall’s. Again, I’ll never forget it just because of how strange of an experience it all was.

Twistr54
Twistr54 on August 21, 2009 at 8:55 am

The other SENSURROUND movies to come, Rollercoaster and Midway would play across the street at Maple Hill Mall Cinema I II (General Cinema). Guess the vibrations were a bit much for the old bag, LOL…

Twistr54
Twistr54 on August 21, 2009 at 8:53 am

This was a UA Theatre.
This was the theatre that was first in Kalamazoo to run EARTHQUAKE in SENSURROUND.
It was run by a bitter, nasty, old lady named Elaine Hauser who didnt like kids, this theatre ran more R rated films to keep the kids out,( very rarely did a G rated picture play here, very very rarely) when a PG rated film ran, she stood guard and kept it running like a jail camp. If you attended an R rated movie, you got ID ed at the box office by the cashier, then she attacked you the second you entered the door, took your ID from your hand and after she was sure it wasnt a fake, tore your ticket and with a huff stepped aside to let you enter the lobby,and sometimes you got ID ed at the concession stand for a 3rd time !! she made you feel you HAD TO BUY concessions. THis place was a zoo when they opened GREASE !!!! When they addad other screens to this place, it make it more of an arm pit than it was before. I can count the times I attended this theatre on 1 hand. Dolby Stereo was FINALLY added in the main auditorium, in the mid 80s,(was in for ALIENS in 87) and the other screens were the typical screen 6 ft by 8 ft, 150 seats or less and no stereo, no personality.
By the time this mall was torn down ( in 1999) the theatre had a total of 10 screens.
I was never so happy to see this blight of theatres be torn down, sorry to say, it was nothing special.