Nordic Theater

136 W. Washington Street,
Marquette, MI 49855

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This theater, in downtown Marquette, Michigan, operated from 1936 to 1994. It has now been converted into a bookstore.

Contributed by David Wallick

Recent comments (view all 7 comments)

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on January 1, 2005 at 8:02 pm

I found an interesting story about the Nordic Theater. In 1959 Otto Preminger filmed “Anatomy of a Murder” in Marquette County. There was a screening of this movie at the Nordic Theater in Marquette on June 29, 1959. Many of the actors signed their names and placed their hand and footprints in wet cement slabs to become part of the sidewalk in front of the Nordic Theater.
Because of the sexual content and realistic dialog about rape, City authorities taking what they considered to be the moral high ground, decided not to publicly display a tribute to the film and planned to destroy the slabs.
Fortunately, a local farmer hid the slabs in his barn where they stayed until 1984 when they were rediscovered and placed in front of the Nordic Theater.
The store that is now located on the site of the old Nordic Theater is called Book World. This is from an ad that I found for Book World. “Located in the former Nordic Theater, this full service bookstore that carries an impressive selection of books newspapers and magazines that focus on our region. Take a peek on the sidewalk out front of the store and discover the footprints and handprints of the notables from the movie "Anatomy of a Murder”.

deleted user
[Deleted] on January 2, 2005 at 9:07 am

I’m not surprised by this. Hollywood was pushing the envelope in the late 50’s which was also a decade of extreme censorship. I wonder how many other theatres have ‘stories’ such as this one.

ksmyers
ksmyers on April 29, 2005 at 10:08 am

The Nordic was a wonderful theater with a great entrance and concession lobby. It was a travesty when it closed. There is no hint that a movie theatre once existed where the new book store resides. So I find it ironic that they would trade on the history of such an amazing place. The Nordic was right across the street from another gem, The Delft Theatre. It still officially exists as a movie theatre, though it has been carved up into 5 “new” screening areas. The decor is more cheap English library (think upholstered wingback chairs and fox hunting pictures) and less cinema hall. For someone who grew up in those theatres, it was a double tragedy.

LouisRugani
LouisRugani on March 2, 2007 at 7:28 pm

I saw “The Apartment” at the Nordic in August, 1960; the theatre was about half filled. There were many Art Moderne touches and blue-glass mirrors in the lobby. I spoke with the manager who said that a picture like “The Apartment” would have filled the theatre in the 1940s.

LouisRugani
LouisRugani on September 27, 2008 at 5:41 am

Thanks for the cement-slab story. The Rhodes Theatre in Chicago also had a collection of such footprints and signatures. When I visited Marquette that one time long ago, their sidewalks were carrying embossed warnings from the city fathers against spitting.

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