Wealthy Theatre

1130 Wealthy Street SE,
Grand Rapids, MI 49506

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Wealthy Theatre, Grand Rapids, MI - auditorium

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Beginning life on April 23, 1911 as the Pastime Vaudette, this neighborhood theatre served as a vaudeville house but soon dropped live acts in favor of movies. During World War I the theater served as a warehouse for the Michigan Warehouse company, reopening in 1920 with it’s current name of Wealthy Theatre.

The theater received a significant renovation in 1934, begining 39 years of business before it was closed in 1973. At that point the lobby was connected to an adjacent restaurant and the theatre fell into disrepair. The City of Grand Rapids slated the Wealthy for demolition when, in 1987, a group of concerned citizens mobilized to save the theatre.

After ten years of struggle and hard work on the part of volunteers, the theatre received her grand re-opening in September of 1999.

Contributed by Juan-Miguel Gallegos

Recent comments (view all 14 comments)

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on September 21, 2007 at 7:05 am

A Robert-Morton theater organ was installed in the Wealthy Theater in 1924.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on October 17, 2007 at 7:54 am

A vintage photo of the Wealthy Theater can be seen on this website.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on May 16, 2008 at 8:15 pm

This is a 2008 photo of the Wealthy Theater.

kencmcintyre on December 26, 2008 at 6:45 pm

From Boxoffice magazine, January 1938:

DETROIT-Butterfield Theaters has taken over operation of two more houses in the state. One to be added to the chain is the Silver Theater, Greenville, operated formerly by Bert Silver, oldest exhibitor in Michigan.

Butterfield Circuit and Allen Johnson have taken over joint operation of the other house, the Wealthy in Grand Rapids.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on January 15, 2009 at 4:04 pm

Here is another photo of the Wealthy Theater.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on April 29, 2009 at 9:15 am

This is a 2009 close-up photo.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on July 27, 2009 at 9:13 am

Another 2009 photo is here.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on July 10, 2010 at 12:43 am

The renovation of the Wealthy Theatre was designed by Paradigm Design, a Grand Rapids architectural firm. Quinn Evans Architects of Ann Arbor served as preservation consultant and oversaw the restoration of the period features of the building.

Four small photos and a brief description of the project can be viewed at the Paradigm Design web site.

SchineHistorian on March 26, 2011 at 7:42 am

Theatre Historical Society will be visiting this theater during our 2011 Conclave – “The Michigan Roads Less Traveled” June 21-25. See the website for details www.historictheatres.org

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