Gaslight Cinema

302 Petoskey Street,
Petoskey, MI 49770

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Gaslight Cinema

The Gaslight Cinema was due to close at the end of 2001, when the owners of the old Gaslight, which has been in operation since the 1940’s, planned to open a new, $3.5 million, eight-screen mulitplex down the road.

The owners, who also have theaters in nearby Bellaire, Gaylord, Cheboygan and Mackinaw City, claim parking problems and space make the Gaslight impossible to expand. Already converted into a five screen theater, the 950-seat Gaslight was reportedly too small for their profit margins and no additional auditoriums could be added.

The Chamber of Commerce has tried to keep the theater downtown, but the owners decided to move elsewhere after six months of talks. The city looked for new owners for the theater in an effort to keep the downtown landmark from demolition. But this proved negative, and the Gaslight Cinema was demolished in 2006.

Contributed by Ross Melnick

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

jhill on September 26, 2001 at 9:28 pm

Why would you want to close down a historical landmark? New isn’t always better

CSWalczak on March 28, 2006 at 1:56 pm

This theater is, unfortunately, shortly to be demolished for a combination condominium/retail/hotel project, according to this article Although there was an attempt to save it, Petoskey voters gave the OK to the projet last year, dooming the theater.

Originally called the Temple Theater (the name used to remain visible in the outer lobby tiles before additional screening rooms were added and the entrance and lobby redesigned), the theater had been “modernized” over its lifetime.

In the 1990s, four small, non-descript screening rooms were added adjacent to the original auditorium. The expansion of the theater into a muliplex also included a modern, functional, but bland lobby area and entrance that essentially obliterated any traces of the original.

Little remained though of the original decor in the original auditorium except for some wall lighting fixtures and the stage; Soundfold drapery and a drop ceiling made it look much like hundreds of other cinemas around the country.

DavidWallick on November 4, 2009 at 4:37 pm

Not only was this theater demolished a few years ago, but the condominium/retail/hotel project that was supposed to occupy the site never happened. The site of the former Gaslight is now just a large hole in the ground in downtown Petoskey. Shame!

TLSLOEWS on May 1, 2010 at 7:55 pm

Nice 1979 photo,too bad its gone now.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 7, 2012 at 10:55 am

The Temple Theatre was listed at 300-302 Petoskey Street in a 1926 directory, and could be the same Temple Theater mentioned in the July 29, 1916, issue of The Moving Picture World. The item concerned Norman J. Feldman, former manager of the Temple, who had just become manager of the new Palace Theater on Howard Street.

The Temple might have been one of the theaters owned by F. M. Cory, whose obituary in the April, 1916, issue of the trade journal The Grand Rapids Furniture Record said that, in addition to his furniture business, Mr. Cory had operated three movie theaters in Petoskey, the first of which he had opened in 1908.

In addition to its page for the Gaslight Cinemas, Water Winter Wonderland has this page featuring a photo of the house as the Temple Theatre. It gives the location as Lake Street, but the theater was on Petoskey at the corner of Lake.

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