Gladmer Theatre

231 N. Washington Avenue,
Lansing, MI 48933

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DavidZornig on March 8, 2018 at 9:02 pm

Incredible 1903 photo added courtesy of Capital Area District Library / Forest Parke Library & Archives. Silent version of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” on posters out front.

dallasmovietheaters on January 13, 2018 at 6:33 am

The local paper reports that Elmer Keeler of Howard C. Crane drew the plans for the 1939-era Gladmer Theatre. The original Buck’s Opera House (May 1873) / Baird’s Opera House (1990) / Gladmer Theatre (1910) ended its run in March of 1939 with “St. Louis Blues.”

Following a salvage sale, the theatre was ripped out in May of 1939 – minus perhaps two walls – and replaced by the new Gladmer Theatre. That theatre opened October 12, 1939 with “Cafe Society” for the Butterfield Circuit. It ended after a 20-year lease lapsed on March 25, 1979 with “The Bermuda Triangle.” The theatre was offered for sale in 1979 remaining empty until finally sold in 1984 which led to its razing.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 22, 2011 at 7:27 pm

Volume 4 of Charles Moore’s 1915 “History of Michigan” has a biography of architect Fuller Claflin, and names six theaters in Michigan that he designed, the Gladmer among them. This had to have been the remodeling that took place about 1910, as the original architect of Buck’s Opera House (opened May, in 1873) was E.E. Myers. I’ve been unable to discover who was the architect for the late 1930s remodeling.

Hibblen on April 9, 2011 at 5:48 am

I was raised in the Gladmer theatre practically from birth until 1971 when my father George Hibblen, the projectionist there passed away.He also worked the Michigan downtown when Mr Butterfield needed him.Alot of memories running around in there, backstage, all of the knooks and crannies were explore.The projection booth was pretty cool too.George Hibblen was a great guy!:)Patti

Don Lewis
Don Lewis on October 31, 2010 at 9:40 pm

From the early 1940s a postcard view of the Gladmer Theatre in Lansing.

CSWalczak on April 7, 2009 at 11:28 pm

1982 picture of the Gladmer after it closed:
View link on April 21, 2008 at 6:32 pm

Bill Lyons, the “Epicure Tea Shop” is listed at 221 N. Washington Ave. in the 1945 through 1966 Lansing City Directories. It may have been listed there before 1945 also, I don’t have those books handy.

noackbill on September 10, 2007 at 10:50 am

Does anyone remember the Plaza Theatre in Lansing? It was located about a block south of the Gladmer on N. Washington Street. In the late 40s and 50s it was somewhat rundown and showed mostly B-westerns and serials. —Billy Boy

lyons4bill on April 11, 2007 at 6:25 am

Second try; if you’re over 60 and around Lansing as a teen, can you help locate the Epicure Restaurant for me. I’m pretty sure it was in the 2nd block of No. Washington, and south of the Gladmer Theater.
Thanks in advance. Bill Lyons

Scott on April 11, 2007 at 5:08 am

CWalczak – thanks for explaining what a roadshow was. That was very helpful and I appreciate the time you took to educate me.

Michael Coate – thanks for your mean-spirited response. How was I to know your wonderful article explained the roadshow presentation? Couldn’t you have simply pointed me to it without being insulting? But then, I suppose insults are a way of life on this site.

Coate on April 10, 2007 at 1:15 pm

CWalczak offered a fine explanation of the “roadshow” concept. However, if you had clicked on the link I provided in my post above yours and taken a moment to read the article (the intro at least; the list is awfully long) you might not have had to ask your “dumb” question. In other words, the roadshow concept is explained in the article, and now I’m left feeling dumb for having wasted my time (1) researching & writing the article, and (2) for bothering to post here on Cinema Treasures.

CSWalczak on April 10, 2007 at 7:40 am

Especially in the 1950s and 60s, “roadshow” referred to a classy presentation of high profile films on a reserved seat or reserved performance basis. Typically, the film was shown exclusively at one large theater in each metropolitan area. The presentation emphasized real showmanship with overtures, intermission, and exit music, the best sound and projection available, grand curtains opening and closing, and souvenir books. The Cinerama films,and blockbusters such as “The Ten Commandments,” “Ben-Hur,” “My Fair Lady,” “Lawrence of Arabia, ” and many others (especially classic films originally filmed in 70mm) were presented originally in this way. Those were the days!

By the mid-70’s the concept essentially died out for many reasons, especially the growing practice of showcasing at multiple theaters, saturation booking, the growth of multiplexes, the added expense of running a roadshow, and especially toward the end of the era, a number of films that frankly didn’t deserve this kind of deluxe presentation but got it any way such as “Paint Your Wagon”.

Scott on April 10, 2007 at 3:32 am

I have what is probably a dumb question. Can someone explain to me what exactly is a roadshow? That is, what is the difference between a roadshow and the regular distribution of a movie?

Thanks very much!

Coate on April 9, 2007 at 8:12 pm

Lansing’s first-run roadshow of “The Sound Of Music” played the GLADMER. It ran for 16 weeks, an unheard of duration at the time for a city the size of Lansing.

View link

lyons4bill on April 9, 2007 at 7:15 pm

I’m trying to locate where the Epicure Restaurant was located; I think it was just south of the Glamer — any one help me? Thanks in advance.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on August 19, 2005 at 7:48 pm

Film Daily Yearbook’s;1941 and 1943 editions list a seating capacity of 1,500 and the Gladmer Theatre is being operated by Paramount Pictures Inc. throught their subsidiary W.S. Butterfield Theatres Inc and Butterfield Michigan Theatres Co.

The 1950 F.D.Y. gives the Gladmer Theatre address as 231-235 N. Washington Avenue, Lancing, MI with a seating capacity of 1,485.

Roloff on January 1, 2005 at 1:06 pm

I have the same card. The postcard is from 1944 (4B-H378, 4 is the 4th year in the B-decade, which is the 40s). The film on the marquee is DESTROYER (1943), starring Edward G. Robinson and Glenn Ford.

gflinn on October 18, 2002 at 11:03 am

The 1940s postcard photo of the Gladmer reminds me of when I was a student at nearby Michigan State University. All the buildings to the left of the Gladmer were replaced by the Lansing HQ and switching office of Michigan Bell Telephone Company (now SBC Ameritech). So when the Gladmer closed around 1979, it seemed inevitable that the single screen theater would be leveled by the phone company to be replaced by a parking lot.

gflinn on October 7, 2002 at 9:46 am

A parking lot for SBC Ameritech, the telephone company, is on the site of the Gladmer Theatre today.

gflinn on October 7, 2002 at 8:54 am

A photo of the Gladmer Theatre in Lansing as it looked before it was rebuilt in 1939 is at View link

It was operated by W.S. Butterfield Theatres.