Michigan Theatre

124 N. Mechanic Street,
Jackson, MI 49201

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Michigan Theatre

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Michigan Theatre opened on July 1, 1930 with 1,739 seats, it was the last and largest of several movie palaces built in Jackson.

Designed in the Spanish Baroque style, it featured ornate plasterwork, marble, imported antique artwork, and walnut paneling. The terra-cotta facade and its rooftop cupola resembled a church from 18th century Spain.

The Michigan Theatre featured both stage shows and motion pictures, and was an entertainment mecca for Jacksonians for decades before ultimately closing its doors in 1978.

Its original-and-only-owners kept the Michigan in excellent condition during their tenure, and its original appearance has changed little since it opened, amazingly, other than an Art Moderne new marquee added about 1940, and its interior being painted over in a uniformly dark color scheme in the 1960’s.

Since restoration began in 1993, over a million dollars has been put into returning the Michigan to its original glory, including restoring the original colors to the auditorium and lobby, regilding, and adding a new marquee which is more in line with the Michigan’s original 1930 marquee.

Full restoration was virtually completed in 2009. The Michigan Theatre screens classic and art films, including children’s matinees, and its stage is host to concerts and local theater productions.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 16 comments)

ERD
ERD on March 23, 2006 at 9:02 am

I agree with Patsy, it would be nice to see some interior photographs of the auditorium and lobby. It is wonderful to know that the Michigan theatre is being restored with such devotion.

Patsy
Patsy on March 23, 2006 at 11:44 am

ERD: Thanks for agreeing with me and hopefully in the near future we’ll see some interior photos. I know that CT member, Lost Memory has posted numerous theatre photos and maybe LM will be able to discover some photos!

Patsy
Patsy on October 27, 2006 at 10:16 am

Lost Memory: Once again, thank you for the Michigan Theater photos. This theatre is absolutely beautiful and I regret not seeing this theatre, in person, when I was a student at Adrian College in nearby Adrian, MI.

Patsy
Patsy on October 27, 2006 at 12:43 pm

Well, I’m honored that you posted them “just for me”. Thank you kind friend and if I ever get back to the State of MI I will most definitely check out this hometown ‘cinema treasure’!

Patsy
Patsy on January 4, 2007 at 7:31 pm

Once again, this theatre is a wonderful example of a small town theatre that has been saved, preserved and cherished as this cinema is truly a ‘treasure’. I hope the citizens of Jackson MI realize this fact!

Patsy
Patsy on July 10, 2008 at 10:21 am

Lost: Another great photo of a great theatre in Michigan!

Patsy
Patsy on January 31, 2009 at 4:18 pm

Love this theatre’s marquees!

Twistr54
Twistr54 on September 29, 2009 at 6:02 pm

View link
This link will take you to photos of the Michigan Theatre.

spectrum
spectrum on November 24, 2010 at 11:28 pm

The photos look great! Very ornate auditorium which looks like it’s been restored to the original color scheme

Missy_Mac
Missy_Mac on June 21, 2011 at 11:38 am

My Grandfather, Wirt S. McLaren opened the Michigan Theatre on April 30, 1930, where he was the manager for several years. I have the original newspaper clippings from that day. He also owned the Capitol Theatre in Jackson, MI as well as many other theatres in and around the Jackson area.

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