Temple Theatre

201 N. Washington Avenue,
Saginaw, MI 48607

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MSC77 on December 7, 2021 at 7:00 pm

In what year did Butterfield cease ownership of the Temple Theatre?

Alan Bell
Alan Bell on May 5, 2018 at 1:35 pm

The April 2018 issue of “Sign of the Times” includes an article on the restoration of the marquee and sign of the Temple. https://www.signsofthetimes.com/project/temple-theatre-marquee-signage-rejuvenated-impressive-design-teamwork

According to the article, “The building resembles an early Gothic cathedral and was commissioned nearly a century ago by the Elf Khurafeh Shriners – a fraternal organization like other Shriners, based on fun, fellowship, and the Masonic principles of brotherly love, relief, and truth. Osgood & Osgood Architects of Grand Rapids, MI had produced the original blueprints. As Freemasons, Osgood put more than their usual care into this building design.”

The article goes on to say, “The original marquee from 1927 carried out the “trolley car” design of that era, a rectangle with three sides of advertisement and decorative spires at each corner. The blade had been carefully hand carved and assembled from wood pieces. Over the years and decades, woodpeckers slowly ravaged it and the blade was taken down along with the rest of the marquee in 1961.” But doesn’t say anything about the transition from Masonic Hall to movie theater.

martymia2009 on July 25, 2011 at 2:09 pm

These are beautiful pictures and bring back warm memories of my youth and saturdays at the Movie Theatre and going into another word for the afternoon.

Karen Colizzi Noonan
Karen Colizzi Noonan on March 26, 2011 at 7:51 am

Theatre Historical Society will be visiting this theater during our 2011 Conclave – “The Michigan Roads Less Traveled” June 21-25. See the website for details www.historictheatres.org

Patsy on July 17, 2008 at 7:17 pm

In fact, you can see in the current photos where the vertical marquee was once attached between the 2 round exterior designs.

Patsy on July 17, 2008 at 7:16 pm

After comparing the current to the past photos I noticed that the vertical marquee reading TEMPLE is not on the theatre facade anymore and it should be as I personally don’t like the current look.

Theatremanager on September 30, 2006 at 3:29 am

Patsy, The original marquee was made of wood and became un-repairable. As film titles got longer, it was impossible to place that many letters on the sides of the portico type sign. Therefore the introduction of the ‘pie wedge’ solved all of these problems at once. You can see the two stainless steel plates that cover the “I” beams used to support the old sign, they are above the center of the marquee.

Patsy on September 28, 2006 at 1:54 pm

Wonderful photos of this theatre, but it’s a shame that many of these theatres changed their marquees which were designed in the 20’s and are in keeping with the interior decor.

Theatremanager on September 28, 2006 at 1:05 pm

The Temple Theatre can be viewed in detail at http://www.cinematour.com/tour.php?db=us&id=4304 This site has many excellent photos of the theatre and adjacent banquet and ballroom facilities. The images are very well composed and taken by Brad Miller.

Patsy on March 22, 2006 at 8:49 am

The Temple website (www.templetheatre.com)is really good and worth a look-see!

Patsy on March 22, 2006 at 8:46 am

Chuck: Great b/w photos!

Patsy on January 3, 2006 at 4:30 am

My email is on my profile page if you wish you contact me that way. Thanks for the research work on the Temple.

wlaut on January 2, 2006 at 6:24 pm

Hello Patsy – I finally had some time to begin researching the Temple Theater in Muskegon. It was built in 1909 and devoted to vaudeville. It looked small; even with its balconey it couldn’t have seated more than a few hundred people.

It didn’t seem to last long because in a 1919 photograph of another building the Temple has lost its marquee, been repainted, and its entrance completely changed.

I still have some more digging to do, including a visit to our local historical museum to in the hopes of unearthing more photographs. Please email me with an email address and I’ll be happy to scan/email to you everything I was able to dig up.

wlaut on November 2, 2005 at 6:20 pm

You may want to ask your friend what she remembers about the old Michigan Theater, now called the Frauenthal (after the philanthropist who donated the money in the ‘70s to save it). The Frau underwent a multi-million-dollar rennovation around 1995-98, and is now the premiere movie palace in the area.

I’m leasing an office in the adjacent Frauenthal Office Building that I’m currently renovating, and has features you don’t find in modern offices (such as “wet-walls” for the installation of a wet bar, furniture-grade walnut and mahogany wood trim, three-part plaster walls, etc.)

Patsy on November 2, 2005 at 10:12 am

WL: Thanks. I have a friend who grew up in Muskegon so may ask her what she remembers growing up in that community.

wlaut on November 2, 2005 at 8:27 am

Hello Patsy — I’ve never heard of the Temple Theater on Market St. in Muskegon. By now it would almost assuredly benn razed. The only source I can think of would be in the basement records of the Hackley Library. If I can find the time in the next few days I’ll see what I can find and will post back here.

Patsy on October 30, 2005 at 8:59 am

Sorry the spelling is Muskegon.

Patsy on October 30, 2005 at 8:58 am

The website isn’t under construction now as I just viewed it.

Patsy on October 30, 2005 at 8:56 am

The Temple in Muskgeon was built in 1911 on Market. Anyone have information/photos on that one?

Patsy on October 30, 2005 at 8:54 am

On Cinema Tour a Temple is listed for Muskgeon MI

wlaut on April 28, 2005 at 8:25 pm

I remember seeing the original “Planet of the Apes” during its first run at the Temple. What a spooky theater for conjuring childhood phantasms! One of my childhood memories was of my older sister being scared there, because she looked up into one of the curtained organ chambers and thought she saw someone looking down into the auditorium from there. Shades of The Phantom of the Opera! Great childhood memories.

Ricki on December 10, 2004 at 11:34 am

I just saw the show Holiday on Ice, what a thrill. It was wonderful to see the Temple look exactly as it did to me 40 years ago….and better, like new. They did a fantastic job in bringing it back to life. I hope the Saginaw residents will spend their money and support the shows that will be brought to us so we can enjoy the past into the future.
Ricki A Korkus
Frankenmuth, MI.

Theatremanager on August 25, 2004 at 6:52 pm

The E-Mail address is
The web page is under construction at www.templetheatre.com
The Temple Theatre and Shrine Mosque were designed by Osgood and Osgood of Grand Rapids, Michigan.
The theatre was originally leased and operated by the W. S. Butterfield Chain.
The style is not Art Deco. Once I was told it was RoCoco but the firm that did the restoration disagrees.
The Temple currently is a live stage house and shows Rep. and First Run Art films in 16, 35 and 70mm. Sound is analog stereo and DTS stereo and DTS Digital.