Albion Theatre

416 South Superior Street,
Albion, MI

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Albion Theatre

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It is well known that the Bohm Theatre is a major downtown, Albion landmark. Albion once had several theaters however, in the early 20th century, and one of them lasted until 1959. The Albion Theatre opened in March 1938 in the Thompson Building at 416 S, Superior St.. This is the building which prensently houses the Albion Chamber of Commerce and John Sharp Realty. The brick edifice had originally been constructed as a livery, and a large center arch once contained a ramp upon which horse and buggies rode.

The Albion Theatre was first owned by the Insterstate Theatre Corporation and was managed by O.J. Lambionette. It seated 500 persons. The first movie shown there was “Boys of the Streets” starring Jackie Cooper and Maureen O'Conner.

Through some clever maneuvering, the owner of the Bohm Theatre, George Bohm, was able to acquire the Albion Theatre in 1939 only a year after it opened. He then operated it concurrently with the Bohm Theatre. After George’s death in 1951, the operation of the theaters passed to his brother Albert and then to his nephews Jack and George Ryser.

The Rysers opened the Albion Drive-In Theatre in the early 1950’s and would close the Albion Theatre during the summer months when the Drive-in was in operation. A decline in business led the Rysers to close the Albion Theatre in the spring of 1959, “the victim of increasingly popular television”, they stated in a 1976 interview.

Contributed by Charles Van Bibber

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

Patsy
Patsy on February 18, 2005 at 8:35 pm

I went to college in Adrian MI and wondered if there was ever a theatre in that college town as I don’t recall there being one when I was there in the 60’s.

Patsy
Patsy on February 18, 2005 at 8:37 pm

And is the Albion Theatre still there to possibly restore as the status only says ‘closed’?

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