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Grand Rapids in 1856

Scene of early Grand Rapids viewed from the...


Bird's New State opened its doors at 7 p.m. on Saturday, July 30, 1927. The first evening's program featured Ralph Waldo Emerson from radio station WLS in Chicago, at the console of a new Kilgen wonder organ. Built by Boshoven / Willer on the northwest corner of Stocking Avenue and Second Street, the State was operated by attorney Samuel H. Himelstein and later by Beecher's, Inc. Harry C. Himelstein managed the theater for his brother in the 1930's, and was known for his showmanship and gimmicks (including raising dust from the stage floor as would attempt a little soft-shoe with his ample frame, according to John Szczytko). At that time, they lived at 311 Garfield N.W. This was perhaps the only theater in Grand Rapids to at one time feature Polish-language films.

Full Details

Address543 Stocking AVE NW 49504
CreatorFather Dennis Morrow
Also Known AsBird's New State

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