Michigan Theatre (Jackson, Michigan)

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Michigan Theater
Michigan Theater Jackson MI.JPG
Exterior of the Michigan Theater from Mechanic Street
Michigan Theatre (Jackson, Michigan) is located in Michigan
Michigan Theatre (Jackson, Michigan)
Michigan Theatre (Jackson, Michigan) is located in the US
Michigan Theatre (Jackson, Michigan)
Location 124 N Mechanic St, Jackson, Michigan
Coordinates 42°14′49″N 84°24′20″W / 42.24694°N 84.40556°W / 42.24694; -84.40556Coordinates: 42°14′49″N 84°24′20″W / 42.24694°N 84.40556°W / 42.24694; -84.40556
Area 1 acre (0.40 ha)
Built 1928
Architect Maurice Finkel
Architectural style Late 19th And 20th Century Revivals
NRHP Reference # 80001874[1]
Added to NRHP May 8, 1980

The Michigan Theatre at 124 North Mechanic Street in Jackson, Michigan opened in 1930 and was designed by Maurice Herman Finkel. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on May 8, 1980, and is undergoing renovations as of 2005.


The Michigan Theatre was built in 1930. It was built for the mainstream popular entertainment of the day, vaudeville and movies. The theatre, unlike others of its time, avoided alterations of style as the movie business changed throughout the 20th century. For just a few pennies, the public of the 1930s entered the building and were treated as royalty. As guests entered the exotic Spanish-styled building, they found lavish interior plasterwork of the 1930s, polychrome terra cotta facade, walnut furniture, wool carpets, oil paintings, heavy demask draperies, and exotic stained glass light fixtures.[2] It still stands as an engineering marvel in its ability to circulate the air in the building in ten minutes. It was the first air conditioned building of downtown Jackson (and still works efficiently today using ground water and tunnels and negative pressure to move the air via physical properties), and many guests entered the lobby just to escape the summer heat. Early in its history, the Michigan Theatre was painted a darker color scheme (to create a darker auditorium), carpet was changed, and the marquee was updated to match a more modern-like streamline. A candy counter also was added. The original owner of the theatre, Butterfield Theatres, maintained the theatre until business ceased in 1978. Since 1978, the building has deteriorated into its current state. The Michigan Theatre of Jackson, Incorporated acquired the theatre from the city of Jackson on August 24, 1993. The non-profit corporation continues to restore the building, receiving a Michigan Historic Preservation Award in 2012 for its restoration efforts.[3] Today the theatre brings in classic films, art films, live theatre productions, concerts, meetings, and other community events. When the restoration is finished, the theatre will attract tourists to downtown Jackson and help the local economy. In 2012 The Michigan Theatre hosted over 300 events and continues to thrive via generous donations from many and excellence in programming.


  1. ^ National Park Service (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ "Michigan Theatre". Experience Jackson. 
  3. ^ "Annual Michigan Historic Preservation Awards Announced". 11 May 2012. 

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