First listed in the 1913 city directory, the Royal seems to have been built in 1912, with William G. Warner as the manager. Ads from its first years of operation indicate that the Royal was billed as “The House of Good Pictures,” running three daily programs with Sunday matinees for only a nickel admission, along with Wednesday specials. Joseph H. Poisson took over the theater around 1920, turning it over to his son-in-law Allen Johnson in 1925. When Johnson moved on to his own theater chain in the 1930's, his brother-in-law Joseph B. Poisson assumed management of the Royal. When it was “temporarily closed for repairs” in the mid-1950's, the marquee, bearing the B & J insignia, instructed passersby to call the Eastown Theater at 8-5218 for information. Capitol Wrecking Co. razed the building for urban renewal in May, 1962. The Old Kent Bank purchased the land on which the theater had been situated, and built its data processing center there. That building remained as a home for several social service agencies until it, too, was demolished and replaced by the headquarters of Mercantile Bank in 2002.
|306-08 Leonard ST NW 49504. 9-1191 (1945)
|Father Dennis Morrow