Model Theatre

636 Phoenix Street,
South Haven, MI 49090

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Paramount Pictures Inc.

Architects: Hal Pereira, William L. Pereira

Firms: Pereira and Pereira

Styles: Art Deco

Nearby Theaters

MODEL Theatre; South Haven, Michigan.

The Model Theatre was opened June 16, 1938, and during the 1940’s it was operated by Paramount Pictures Inc. through their subsidiary W.S. Butterfield Theaters Inc. and Butterfield Michigan Theaters Co. It continued operating through to at least 1950.

Contributed by Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 25, 2009 at 1:26 am

The Model Theatre was a Pereira & Pereira-designed house, opened about the same time as their more famous Esquire Theatre in Chicago. It was originally operated by the Carley Amusement Company, associated with Butterfield Theatres.

Boxoffice Magazine of September 17, 1938 presented a multi-page feature comparing the Model and the Esquire, with several photos of each house (9 pages of photos altogether) and text by Bill Pereira. Naturally the Esquire gets the bulk of the coverage, but the Model is well represented.

The opening date of the Model was June 16, 1938. I’ve not found the Model Theatre mentioned in Boxoffice later than September 29, 1956, in an item saying it was being reopened.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 16, 2012 at 2:24 am

The September 17, 1938, Boxoffice article which includes photos of the Model Theatre is now to be found at this link The first page of the article has a photo of William and Hal Pereira.

For some reason, Hal Pereira, William’s brother, and his partner in the firm Pereira & Pereira, has often been conflated with an older architect, Percival R. Pereira. Percival Pereira was associated with C. Howard Crane in 1921-1922, and is supposed to have designed the interiors of the Fox Theatre in Detroit, but all the Pereira & Pereira theater designs listed at Cinema Treasures were William and Hal’s work. I’ve been unable to discover if Percival Pereira was related to the Pereira brothers or not.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 16, 2012 at 2:46 am

Well, it looks like some of the theaters attributed to Pereira & Pereira at Cinema Treasures (Downtown Theatre, Detroit, for example) are actually the work of Percival Pereira. It’s going to take some time to sort this out. Information about Percival Pereira is rather thin on the Internet, and information about William and Hal is not much more plentiful.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 16, 2012 at 5:04 am

The architect field is still not right. The principals of the firm of Pereira & Pereira were William Pereira and Hal Pereira. Percival Pereira was an older architect who was never associated with the firm.

The firm was founded in 1931, so any theaters attributed to them that were built prior to 1930 are probably the work of Percival Pereira (except, of course, in the case of theaters that were remodeled by the firm in the 1930s.)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 25, 2023 at 8:07 pm

CinemaScope equipment was installed at the Model Theatre in 1954, and the house had several more years of life before its building was converted into a bakery in 1962. The interior was gutted at the time of the conversion, and the streamline modern exterior of the house has since been entirely concealed behind a “vintage” false front. The bakery still occupies the violated premises.

The correct address of the Model Theatre is 419 Phoenix Street.

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