Silver Theatre

115 W. Cass Street,
Greenville, MI 48838

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Silver Theatre

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Originally built as Phelp’s Opera House. The Silver Theatre was given an Art Deco style remodel in 1935 by architectural firm Bennett & Straight. It was closed in 1986.

Contributed by Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 31, 2009 at 5:51 pm

The announcement that the formal opening of the Silver Theatre had been held Wednesday and Thursday nights was made in Boxoffice of August 31, 1935. The building had been “reconstructed,” Boxoffice said, and “…replaces the old Silver Theatre, a landmark here for years.”

Despite the impression given by that item, Bennett & Straight’s version of the Silver Theatre was not entirely new construction, but a radical remodeling of the building that had been Bert Silver’s second theater in Greenville. A more extensive article about Mr. Silver and his theater appeared in Boxoffice of March 7, 1936. It includes not only photos, but before-and-after floor plans showing how extensive the alterations had been.

The article mentions that the Silver Theatre had earlier been Phelps' Opera House. An 1896 book called Headlight flashes along the Detroit, Lansing & Northern line says of this establishment (a converted livery stable, according to Boxoffice) “the commodious Phelps' opera house of twelve hundred seating capacity is well patronized.” The following page has an interior photo. I don’t think the rebuilt Silver was quite so capacious, but it was indeed large, as evidenced by the interior photos in Boxoffice.

Water Winter Wonderland has a page for the Silver Theatre with photos. It gives a closing date of 1986.

DAK8601 on August 22, 2011 at 4:17 am

At a recent antique show, I purchased two small brochures advertising coming attractions for the Silver Theater in Greenville, Michigan.

The first from August 1938 advertises coming attractions “Boy Meets Girl,” “The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse,” and “Marie Antoinette.” It also promises summer moviegoers, air conditioned comfort, Latest News Events, Novelties, Don Bestor’s Orchestra, and a Lone Ranger serial on Saturday afternoon.

The second is from September 1942 and also promotes the Gibson Theater. Greenville moviegoers are urged to buy war bonds at the theater on their way to see “The Magnificent Ambersons” and “Careful Soft Shoulders” at the Silver or “City of Missing Girls” at the Gibson. Added attractions: News, Cartoons, Kaltenborn, and March of Time. Saturday matinee is Gene Autry in “Call of the Canyon” at the Silver and Bela Lugosi in “Spooks Run Wild” at the Gibson.

I can scan and post if anybody’s interested.

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