Michigan Theatre

124 N. Mechanic Street,
Jackson, MI 49201

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Related Websites

Michigan Theatre - Jackson (Official)

Additional Info

Previously operated by: W.S. Butterfield Theaters Inc.

Architects: Maurice H. Finkel

Functions: Movies (Classic), Movies (Independent), Stage Shows

Styles: Spanish Baroque

Phone Numbers: Box Office: 517.783.0811
Manager: 517.783.0962

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News About This Theater

Michigan Theatre

The Michigan Theatre opened on April 30, 1930 with Buddy Rogers in “Young Eagles” plus RKO Vaudeville on the stage. It had 1,739 seats and was the last and largest of several movie palaces built in Jackson.

Designed in the Spanish Baroque style, it featured ornate plasterwork, marble, imported antique artwork, and walnut paneling. The terra-cotta facade and its rooftop cupola resembled a church from 18th century Spain.

The Michigan Theatre featured both stage shows and motion pictures, and was an entertainment mecca for Jacksonians for decades before ultimately closing its doors in 1978.

Its original-and-only-owners kept the Michigan in excellent condition during their tenure, and its original appearance has changed little since it opened, amazingly, other than an Art Moderne new marquee added about 1940, and its interior being painted over in a uniformly dark color scheme in the 1960’s.

Since restoration began in 1993, over a million dollars has been put into returning the Michigan to its original glory, including restoring the original colors to the auditorium and lobby, regilding, and adding a new marquee which is more in line with the Michigan’s original 1930 marquee.

Full restoration was virtually completed in 2009. The Michigan Theatre screens classic and art films, including children’s matinees, and its stage is host to concerts and local theater productions.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 17 comments)

Patsy on March 23, 2006 at 8:44 am

ERD: Thanks for agreeing with me and hopefully in the near future we’ll see some interior photos. I know that CT member, Lost Memory has posted numerous theatre photos and maybe LM will be able to discover some photos!

Patsy on October 27, 2006 at 7:16 am

Lost Memory: Once again, thank you for the Michigan Theater photos. This theatre is absolutely beautiful and I regret not seeing this theatre, in person, when I was a student at Adrian College in nearby Adrian, MI.

Patsy on October 27, 2006 at 9:43 am

Well, I’m honored that you posted them “just for me”. Thank you kind friend and if I ever get back to the State of MI I will most definitely check out this hometown ‘cinema treasure’!

Patsy on January 4, 2007 at 4:31 pm

Once again, this theatre is a wonderful example of a small town theatre that has been saved, preserved and cherished as this cinema is truly a ‘treasure’. I hope the citizens of Jackson MI realize this fact!

Patsy on July 10, 2008 at 7:21 am

Lost: Another great photo of a great theatre in Michigan!

Patsy on January 31, 2009 at 1:18 pm

Love this theatre’s marquees!

Twistr54 on September 29, 2009 at 3:02 pm

View link
This link will take you to photos of the Michigan Theatre.

spectrum on November 24, 2010 at 8:28 pm

The photos look great! Very ornate auditorium which looks like it’s been restored to the original color scheme

Missy_Mac on June 21, 2011 at 8:38 am

My Grandfather, Wirt S. McLaren opened the Michigan Theatre on April 30, 1930, where he was the manager for several years. I have the original newspaper clippings from that day. He also owned the Capitol Theatre in Jackson, MI as well as many other theatres in and around the Jackson area.

rivest266 on May 28, 2024 at 3:21 pm

Opened on April 30th, 1930 (W. S. Butterfield’s birthday). Grand opening ad posted.

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