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Grand Rapids in 1856

Scene of early Grand Rapids viewed from the...



First listed in the city directory as the Alcazar in 1914, this theater was operated by partners George H. Budde and Edward N. Brown. In 1916, Brown sold his share to Budde as sole owner and operator, using the proceeds to start Brown's Stocking Avenue theatre. William H. Higgins took over as manager in 1923, running the theater until its sale in 1926 to Beecher's, Inc., a local theater chain. Fred D. Nichols managed the theater from 1931 to 1933 for the owners, now known as Willer-Boshoven Theaters. They renamed it the Roosevelt in 1933, and turned managerial duties over to Clifton E. Reynolds, possibly a relative of Howard T. Reynolds, one of the sons-in-law of Joseph Poisson. The building owner in 1936 was T.E. Graham. In 1938, the job of managing the Roosevelt was given to Carl and Oscar Orwant, who were still the managers in 1941 when the theater was renamed as the Town. The theater operated well into the 1960's, usually showing triple features. In the 1970's, it featured Spanish-language movies, even unofficially adopting the name Cínema Tropical, until it finally closed as a theater. About 1988, it was renovated and occupied as the El Matador store; and since about 1998 has been the Evangelistic Center, a store-front church. The building is on a lot 49' x 100'. The building itself is 40' x 70', and is 20' in height. It is solid brick and concrete construction, with a wood floor and a tiled lobby floor. Seating capacity was 400. There were two toilets and lavatories. Heat was originally coal and hot air. The roof was tar and gravel. The assessed valuation in 1972 was $10,000. (Source: Michael V. Doyle and William S. Davis, Grand Rapids Theater Directory, July, 1991.)

Full Details

Address642 Bridge ST NW 49504
CreatorFather Dennis Morrow
Also Known AsAlcazar, CĂ­nema Tropical, Roosevelt
Locationlocation on map

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