Center Theatre

431 W. Main Street,
Ionia, MI 48846

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Paramount-Publix, W.S. Butterfield Theaters Inc.

Previous Names: Orpheum Theatre

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The 230-seat Orpheum Theatre was opened prior to 1914. It was closed around 1931. In the summer of 1941 it had been taken over by Butterfield Theatres chain and was remodeled and reopened as the Center Theatre. It was still open in 1950.

Contributed by Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 1 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 12, 2023 at 6:18 pm

It turns out that Center is an aka for the Orpheum. The July 18, 1941 issue of Film Daily had the story: “At Ionia, the 350-seat Orpheum, closed for eight years, is being remodeled and modernized and renamed the Center, to be a companion in Butterfield’s 1,000-seat Ionia, only other theater in town.”

The Orpheum was probably closed longer than eight years, though, as its last appearance in the FDY was 1931. The item’s claim of a seating capacity of 350 for the Orpheum is almost certainly an exaggeration. Its last listing in the FDY gave it only 230 seats. It was likely expanded when remodeled as the Center, but not to 350.

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