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Downtown Kalamazoo Theaters

1866–1938


These pages are an effort to identify locations and information about the theaters, cinemas, vaudeville houses, nickelodeons, and performance venues in downtown Kalamazoo, from the construction of its first opera house in 1866 to the final renovation of the Uptown in 1938.


Academy of Music (1882–1930)

East side of S. Rose St., across from Academy St.


Acadia Theatre (1913–1922)

Southwest corner of Portage and Washington streets.


Airdome Theater (1910–1912)

North side of W. Kalamazoo Ave., between N. Rose St. and N. Burdick St.


Bijou Theatre (1906–1910)

East side of S. Burdick St., north of South St.


Capitol Theatre (1924–1976)

South side of E. South St., east of Burdick St. (see Majestic)


The Civic Theatre (1931– current)

SE corner of South St. and Park St.


Colonial Theatre (1907–1916)

East side of S. Burdick St., north of South St.


Elite Theater (1912–1925)

East side of S. Burdick St., south of South St.


Excelsior Roller Rink (1884–1890)

East side of Portage St., north of South St.


Fuller Theatre (1909–1953)

East side of S. Burdick St., north of South St.


Gem Theater (1910–1912)

West side of S. Burdick St., between Main St. (Michigan Ave.) and South St. (see Vaudet)


Grand Theatre (c.1933)

NE corner of Kalamazoo Ave. and N. Burdick St.


The Greatest Life Theater (1904–1905)

West side of Portage St., between Michigan Ave. and E. South St.


Lyric Theater (1912–1924)

South side of E. Main St. (now E. Michigan Ave.), east of Burdick St.


Majestic Theater (1907–1924)

South side of E. South St., east of Burdick St.


Michigan Theatre (1934–1961)

South side of E. Main. (now E. Michigan Ave.), east of Burdick St.


The New Theatre (1912–1947)

North side of W. Main St. (now W. Michigan Ave.), east of Rose St.


Orpheum Theater (1911–1949)

North side of E. Main St. (now E. Michigan Ave.), east of Burdick St.


Palace of Amusement (1903–1906)

North side of W. Water St., east of N. Church St.


Queen Theater (1907–1908)

West side of N. Rose St., south of W. Water St.


Regent Theatre (1919–1930)

East side of S. Rose St., across from Academy St. (see also Academy of Music)


Royal Theatre (c.1933)

East side of Portage St., north of E. South St.


The State Theatre (1927–current)

SW corner of S. Burdick St. and W. Lovell St.


Union Hall — Kalamazoo Opera House (1866–1900)

West side of Portage St., south of E. Main St. (now E. Michigan Ave.)


Uptown Theater (1938–1959)

SW corner of N. Burdick St. and Eleanor St.


Vaudette Theater (1907–1910)

West side of S. Burdick St., between Main St. (Michigan Ave.) and South St.


Wonderland Theatre (1906–1907)

East side of S. Burdick St., north of South St. (see also Fuller)

Sources

Information originally compiled in 1995 by J.P. Jenks. Additional information was later added by library staff. Information compiled from Kalamazoo City Directory listings, details obtained in researching newspaper reports published at the time by the Kalamazoo Gazette and Kalamazoo Telegraph Press, Sanborn Fire Insurance maps, Kalamazoo County Warranty Deeds and numerous other sources. Updated October 2009


Additional Resources

Books

A History of Theater in Kalamazoo

Pixley, Jorge V., 1958
H 792 P694

Theater in Kalamazoo from 1860–1890

Johns, Marion, 1955
H 792 J65


Local History Room Files

Subject File: Theater

Subject File: Elite Theater

Subject File: Majestic Theater

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