Frauenthal Center for the Perfoming Arts

425 West Western Avenue,
Muskegon, MI 49440-1101

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Frauenthal Center for the Performing Arts, Muskegon, MI - exterior

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The Michigan Theater opened on September 17, 1930 with a seating capacity of 1,848. Built during the Depression, by Schlossman Theatre Inc., and designed by famed theater architect C. Howard Crane, descriptions of the theater from this time talk of an extraordinary beauty and grace.

The theater was purchased in October 1976 by the Community Foundation for Muskegon County, with a generous grant of $475,000 provided by A. Harold Frauenthal.

From 1995 to 1998, a $7.5 million restoration project returned this gem to its original beauty.

Recently, the theater has served as the location of the Cherry County Playhouse, as well as the Miss Michigan Scholarship Program.

Contributed by Rob Huisingh

Recent comments (view all 24 comments)

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on April 25, 2009 at 6:21 pm

This is a nice 2009 photo.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on July 18, 2009 at 4:15 pm

Here is an October 2008 ad for a Buster Keaton double feature:
http://tinyurl.com/nn8aqv

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on July 18, 2009 at 4:15 pm

I missed that one.

Patsy
Patsy on October 24, 2009 at 5:56 am

I just learned of this beautifully restored theater with Barton organ in western Michigan after being at an energy conference in western NYS.

Patsy
Patsy on October 24, 2009 at 5:58 am

I’ve read about Buster Keaton on this link…was he from Muskegon?

Patsy
Patsy on October 24, 2009 at 5:58 am

I’ve read about Buster Keaton on this link…was he from Muskegon?

JimFles
JimFles on January 4, 2010 at 4:30 pm

Had a great Keaton convention again this year. the theater-projectors-Barton organ—all did a wonderful job. The theater turns 80 this year and they are planning a year of celebration starting with Dale and Gale Zieger presenting an afternoon of just plain old fun with the Barton organ and grand piano. Oh yes there will be a short comedy silent film with Dale at the Barton!!It will be Sunday afternoon at 3;00 January 31.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 15, 2012 at 3:41 pm

Here is an ad for the American Seating Company in Boxoffice of June 7, 1952, featuring a photo of the auditorium of the Michigan Theatre.

Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois
Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois on May 29, 2013 at 7:16 am

The Barton Theater Pipe Organ started out in 1927 as a style 23, Opus 513, that cost $5,630 in the Regent Theater in Muskegon as a 2/6 (manual/rank, keyboards/sets of pipes). It was moved to this theater when it opened and enlarged to a 3/8. Barton was in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

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