Majestic Theater

240 South Mechanic Street,
Jackson, MI 49201

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Majestic Theater

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The Majestic Theater opened in January 1916 in the Athenaeum Building. A Hillgreen-Lane theater organ was installed. The Majestic Theater was closed in 1954 and the auditorium was demolished. The front of the building remains and was converted into offices.

Contributed by Lost Memory

Recent comments (view all 11 comments)

Roger Katz
Roger Katz on March 8, 2010 at 8:21 am

Opened December 12, 1898 as the Athenaeum. Closed and demolished in 1954.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 26, 2012 at 12:08 am

An article about the Majestic’s first operator, W. S. McLaren, in the March 12, 1918, issue of Michigan Film Review quoted him as saying that he had opened the Majestic Theatre in the old Athenaeum building on January 21, 1916. McLaren also operated a 250-seat house in Jackson called the Colonial, which he had opened in January, 1915. Prior to that, he had operated a movie house called the Sylvan Theatre in the former opera house in his home town of Chelsea, Michigan.

JaxonFilmFest
JaxonFilmFest on October 9, 2012 at 1:57 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.

JaxonFilmFest
JaxonFilmFest on October 13, 2012 at 8:55 pm

Here is some information that I found elsewhere on the web. These are the particulars of the Antheneum/Majestic Theatre, http://michiganoperahouses.com/?p=113

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
JaxonFilmFest on October 13, 2012 at 9:16 pm

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
JaxonFilmFest on December 6, 2012 at 9:07 am

@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.)

sbostedor
sbostedor on January 27, 2013 at 2:40 pm

It wasn’t demolished. It’s still there but looks a little different. Google Street View shows it at http://goo.gl/d8GKH

JaxonFilmFest
JaxonFilmFest on August 31, 2013 at 8:51 am

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

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 6, 2016 at 6:15 am

Maria Luisa DiChiera’s thesis The Theater Designs of C. Howard Crane has a list of his theater projects, and includes this entry: “#227 Atheneum, Jackson, MI, (remodeling), Majestic Theatre”

The paper lists four other Crane projects at Jackson: #449, the Capitol Theatre; #456, the Rex Theatre; #993, the Capitol Theatre again; and #1085, the Michigan Theatre.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 8, 2016 at 2:04 am

Here is an item about theaters in Jackson, including the Majestic, from the November 24, 1917, issue of Motography:

“Two of the most interesting spots in Jackson, Michigan, are the Majestic and Colonial theaters. These are owned and operated by the Majestic-Colonial Theater Company, Inc., of which W. S. McClaren is manager. The Majestic, advertised as ‘The Theater Beautiful,’ plays Vitagraph, Selznick, Metro, World and K. E. S. E. pictures and the best road attractions. It was formerly a $30,000 legitimate house but it took to pictures at 10, 15 and 25 cents with Mr. McClaren’s management to start the people that way. Mr. McClaren uses a splendid orchestra of ten pieces and an organ at the Majestic and girl ushers, with girls also on the doors. The Colonial, called ‘The Pride of the East Side,’ was the first suburban house of the city, built three years ago. It seats 300 and is doing good business.”

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