Strand Theatre

124 S. Washington Avenue,
Saginaw, MI 48607

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Bijou Amusement Company, Paramount Pictures Inc.

Architects: John Adolph Emil Eberson

Previous Names: Jeffers Theatre

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Original print ad for the Jeffers courtesy of Mike Flores.

The Jeffers Theatre opened as a vaudeville theatre on August 4, 1902. In September 1915 it was remodeled to become a movie theatre to the plans of theatre architect John Eberson and reopened as the Strand Theatre. A Kimball 8 ranks organ was installed. It was listed as (Closed) in 1935. By the early-1940’s it was operated by Paramount Pictures Inc. through their subsidiary Butterfield Michigan Theaters Co.

Contributed by Lost Memory

Recent comments (view all 3 comments)

kathy2trips on November 23, 2009 at 7:25 pm

Here’s a link to a poster for the Strand when it was still The Jeffers in 1911:

rivest266 on February 18, 2024 at 5:51 am

Opened on August 4th, 1902. Grand opening ad posted.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 20, 2024 at 5:59 am

This item datelined Saginaw appeared in the September 11, 1915 issue of Michigan Contractor and Builder:

“After September 11 the remodeling of the Jeffers theater building into a moving picture theater will be started. The lobby, ticket office will be remodeled, the interior newly decorated and new equipment, a new pipe organ and new stage settings will be installed. E. A. Eberson of Chicago, has the contract for the work. The theater when completed will be known as the Strand.”
A careless copy editor or typesetter must have garbled John Adolph Emil Eberson’s name, because that’s who the Eberson who had the contract for the project must have been.

The Jeffers was one of two Saginaw theaters listed in the 1908-1909 Cahn guide, the other being the Academy. Both were then owned and operated by the National Amusement Company, and both were about the same size, but the Academy had a stage a bit larger and charged higher prices, with a top of S1.25 to the Jeffers' .75 cents. That indicates that the Jeffers was probably the vaudeville house and the Academy hosted the big road shows, though I did find indications that the Jeffers also hosted stock companies part of the time.

The 1914-1915 American Motion Picture Directory lists a house at Saginaw called the Jeffries Theatre, which I thought might have been a misspelling of Jeffers, but there are also references to it from 1920, after the Jeffers had been renamed Strand, so I now suspect it was a different house.

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