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Heritage \ Theater \

Journal of Theater History
Location of theaters in Bay County

The information is organized by the location of theater buildings then chronologically by year. Included in the data are additional remarks and other uses of that property for the years shown. --
{Image} Pictures where available will open in new window.

Listing by Location

Bangor Township:

Wilder Road, Bay City Mall:
  • 1994-98: Bay City Six Theater
  • 1998-Present: Goodrich Quality Theater
  • Bay City (East Side):

    18th Street, bet. Sherman & Farragut:
  • 1913-14: Orpheum Theater
    Adams, 616:
  • 1909-13: Wonderland Theater
    Adams, 716:
  • 1916-19: Aladdin Theater
    Broadway, 800:
  • 1913-24: Avenue Theater
  • 1946: Rowley Bros. Oil Co., Dixie Service Filling Station
  • Today - Independent Bank.
    Broadway, 1824:
  • 1914-15: Broadway Pleasure Theater
  • 1916-19: Orpheum Theater
    Broadway, 2101:
  • 1911-1913: Miles Theater
    Broadway, 2105:
  • 1916-1919: Park Theater
    Broadway, 2205:
  • 1914-15: The Gem Theater
    Center & Madison
  • 1906-08 Bijou Theatre (located in Ridotta Building, reopened at 913 Washington ave.)
  • 1950s - Goodyear Tire Co. (auto repairs).
  • Today - Parking lot, will become part of new Central Library.
    Center & Water, s.e. cor.
  • 1867 - Fraser Hotel, included theater hall, southend of third level, ceiling extended into fourth floor, outside stairway 8' wide entrance, size 41' x 94', seated 800.
    Center & Washington, s.w. cor.
    When William Westover built his business building, he hired J.M. Woods of Chicago to design a theater into its 3rd level. When it opened in 1868, it was considered the best theater facility north of Detroit. In 1885, badly needing repairs, it was closed and plans were made for its renovation. However, fire destroyed the building which prompted the building of the Woods Opera House at Washington & 6th.
  • 1868 - Westover Opera House (3rd flr., Westover Block.)
  • 1885 - Westover Opera House closed due to poor condition.
  • 1886 - Westover Block and opera house destroyed by fire.
  • 1888 - Phoenix Block
    Center, 109:
  • 1911-1919: Star Theater
    Center, 200:
  • 1937-39: New Center Theater
  • 1940-55: Center Theater
  • 1970 - Van Haaren Furniture Store
  • Today - Empty lot.
    Columbus, 1203:
  • 1913-23: Family Theater
  • 1946 - John F. Schmidt Shoe Repair
  • 1970 - Herzberger Storage
  • Today - unknown
    Columbus, 1214 (s.w. cor. S.Sherman):
  • 1916-22: Pictureland Theater
  • 1924-29: Columbus Theater
  • 1935-47: Tivoli Theater
  • 1948-54: Pines Theater
  • 1960-Present: Bay City Players Theater
    Lafayette, 515:
    Building on s.s. of Lafayette, screen with stage on south wall.
  • 1926-55: Lafayette Theater
  • 1970 - Kroger Food Market
  • Today - Parking lot.
    Madison, S. 1006:
  • 1913-14: Variety Theater
    Washington, 521-523:
  • 1906-12: Alvarado Theater
  • 1913: Lyric Theater
  • 1914-24: Grotto Theater
  • 1926-35: Temple Theater
  • 1942-58: Roxy Theater
  • Today - Building is part of Dunlap Pontiac Dealership.
    Washington, 620:
  • 1886-1902: Woods Opera House, 1st bldg. devoted to theater. {Image}
  • 1903-16: Washington Theater (new bldg.)
  • 1916-25: Washington Strand Theater
  • 1925-63: Washington Theater
  • Today - Parking lot.
    Washington, 913 (n.e. corner Sixth):
    Entrance and lobby on eastside, screen on west wall, included stage and balcony. The original building has been used as a theater since 1908.
  • 1908-20: Bijou Theater, vaudeville, movies added 1920.
  • 1922-30: Orpheum Theater
  • 1931-56: Bay Theater
  • 1957-Present: State Theater
  • Today - Maintained as a heritage theater.
    Washington, 924 (Davidson Bldg.):
    Entrance west along corridor leading to lobby area with open stairway to balcony, screen on south wall.
  • 1918-57 Regent Theater
  • Today - Former theater area now used as offices.
    Washington, 1117
  • 1922 - Coliseum Theater Building
  • 1946 - Whyte Motor Sales
  • 1970 - Holiday Plymouth, Inc.
  • Today - Unknown
    Washington, 1205:
    Entrance and lobby on eastside, screen on west wall, included stage. Built by Art Narlock.
  • 1947-81: Empire Theater
  • Today - Theater building still stands and has had various uses.
    Water, s.e. cor. 5th:
  • 1865 - Globe Hotel was enlarged to included theater hall on 3rd level, size 40' x 60', seating 700, stairway entrance.
    Water, 806-808:
  • 1909-35: Wenonah Theater
  • Today - Mill End Store
    Water, s.w. cor. Third st.
  • 1852 - Hall used for theater, town meetings, dances.
    Woodside, 1621:
  • 1913-15: Dreamland Theater
    Woodside, 1704:
    Entrance on n.s. into mezzanine, screen on s. wall.
  • 1916-48: Woodside Theater
  • 1950-63: Royal Theater
  • 1966-69: Royal Theater
  • 1970-Present: Cinema Arts Adult Theater
  • Bay City (West Side):

    Lynn, S., 109:
  • 1909-16: Temple Theater
    Lynn, N., 110:
  • 1909-13: Theatorium Theater
    Lynn, N., 113:
  • 1911-12: Rex Theater
    Marquette, 1013:
  • 1913-14: Westside Theater
    Midland, E., 600:
  • 1920-41: Victory Theater
  • 1942-47: City Theater
  • Today: Rathskeller tavern on property.
    Midland, E., 611-613:
  • 1913-15: Crown Theater
  • 1916-22: Majestic Theater
  • 1924-41: State Theater
  • 1942-86: Westown Theater
  • Today: Operates as Westown Entertainment & Tavern.
    Walnut (e.s. of st.), bet. Vermont & Ohio
  • 1892 - Opera House in West Bay City, primarily used for city offices.
  • Essexville:

    Woodside, 1025:
  • 1948-52: Colonial Theater
    Woodside, 1405:
    Entrance on s.s. into mezzanine, screen on north wall. The building was subsequently converted into restaurant, tavern with hall on upper level.
  • 1953-72: Colonial Theater
  • Today - vacant.
  • Hampton Towship:

    Center Road, 1491:
  • 1973-82: Eastland Twin Theater
    Pine, N., 884:
  • 1983-86: Eastland Twin Theater
  • 1986-90: FourPlex Cinemas Theater
  • 1991-92: Eastland Quad Theater
  • 1992-99: Hampton Six Theater
  • 1999-Present: Goodrich Quality Theater
  • Monitor Township:

    Midland Road, 2400:
  • 1953-62: Starlite Drive-In
  • 1973-92: Starlite Drive-In
  • Portsmouth Township:

    Tuscola Road:
  • 1948-??: Tuscola Drive-In
  • Listing by Theater Name

    • Alladin Theater {Image]
      (1916-19) 716 Adams, Bay City
    • Alvarado Theater {Image]
      (1906-12) 521-523 Washington, Bay City
    • Avenue Theater
      (1913-24) 800 Broadway, Bay City
    • Bijou Theater {Image]
      (1906-08) s.w. cor Center & Madison, Bay City
      (1908-20) 913 Washington, Bay City
    • Bay City Players {Image]
      (1960-present) 1214 Columbus, Bay City
    • Bay City Six Theater
      (1994-98) Wilder Road, Bangor Twp.
    • Bay Theater {Image]
      (1931-56) 913 Washington, Bay City
    • Broadway Pleasure Theater
      (1914-15) 1824 Broadway, Bay City
    • Center Theater
      (1940-55) 200 Center, Bay City
    • Cinama Arts Theater
      (1970-present) 1704 Woodside, Bay City
    • City Theater {Image]
      (1942-47) 600 E. Midland, Bay City
    • Coliseum Theater
      (1922) 1117 Washington, Bay City
    • Colonial Theater
      (1948-52) 1025 Woodside, Essexville
      (1953-72) 1405 Woodside, Essexville
    • Columbus Theater
      (1924-29) 1214 Columbus, Bay City
    • Crown Theater
      (1913-15) 611-613 E. Midland, Bay City
    • Dreamland Theater
      (1913-15) 1621 Woodside, Bay City
    • Eastland Theater
      (1973-82) 1491 Center Rd., Hampton Twp.
    • Eastland Quad Theater
      (1991-92) 884 Pine Rd. Hampton Twp.
    • Eastland Twin Theater
      (1983-86) 884 N. Pine, Hampton Twp.
    • Empire Theater {Image]
      (1947-81) 1205 Washington, Bay City
    • Family Theater
      (1913-23) 1203 Center, Bay City
    • FourPlex Cinema Theater
      (1986-90) 884 N. Pine, Hampton Twp.
    • Fraser Hotel Theater {Image]
      (1867) s.e. cor. Center & Water, Bay City
    • Gem Theater, The
      (1914-15) 2205 Broadway, Bay City
    • Globe Hotel Theater {Image}
      (1865-?) Water & 5th, Bay City
    • Goodrich Quality Theater
      (1998-) Wilder Rd, Bangor Twp.
      (1999-) 884 N. Pine, Hampton Twp.
    • Grotto Theater
      (1914-24) 521-523 Washington, Bay City
    • Hampton Six Theater
      (1992-99) 884 N. Pine, Hampton Twp.
    • Lafayette Theater
      (1926-55) 515 Lafayette, Bay City
    • Lyric Theater
      (1913) 521-523 Washington, Bay City
    • Majestic Theater
      (1916-22) 611-613 E. Midland, Bay City
    • Miles Theater
      (1911-13) 2101 Broadway, Bay City
    • New Center Theater
      (1937-39) 200 Center, Bay City
    • Orpheum Theater
      (1913-34) 18th St., Bay City
      (1916-19) 1824 Broadway, Bay City
      (1922-39) 913 Washington, Bay City
    • Park Theater
      (1916-19) 2105 Broadway, Bay City
    • Pictureland Theater
      (1916-22) 1214 Columbus, Bay City
    • Pines Theater {Image]
      (1948-54) 1214 Columbus, Bay City
    • Regent Theater
      (1918-57) 924 Washington, Bay City
    • Rex Theater
      (1911-12) 113 N. Lynn, Bay City
    • Roxy Theater {Image]
      (1942-58) 521-523 Washington, Bay City
    • Royal Theater
      (1950-69) 1704 Woodside, Bay City
    • Star Theater
      (1911-19) 109 Center, Bay City
    • Starlite Drive-In
      (1953-62) Midland Rd., Monitor Twp.
      (1973-92) Midland Rd., Monitor Twp.
    • State Theater {Image]
      (1924-41) 611-613 E. Midland, Bay City
      (1957-present) 913 Washington, Bay City
    • Temple Theater
      (1909-16) 109 S. Lynn, Bay City
      (1926-35) 521-523 Washington, Bay City
    • Theatorium Theater
      (1909=13) 110 N. Lynn, Bay City
    • Tivoli Theater
      (1935-47) 1214 Columbus, Bay City
    • Tuscola Drive-In
      (1948-?) Tuscola Rd., Portsmouth Twp.
    • Variety Theater
      (1913-14) 1006 S. Madison, Bay City
    • Victory Theater
      (1920-41) 600 E. Midland, Bay City
    • Washington Strand Theater {Image]
      (1916-25) 620 Washington, Bay city
    • Washington Theater {Image}
      (1903-16) 620 Washington, Bay City
      (1926-23) 620 Washington, Bay City
    • Wenonah Theater
      (1905-35) 806-808 Water, Bay City
    • Westover Opera House {Image}
      (1868-86) s.w. cor. Center & Washington, Bay City
    • West Bay City Opera House
      (1892-?) Walnut, Bay City
    • Westside Theater
      (1913-14) 1013 Marquette, Bay City
    • Westown Theater {Image]
      (1942-86) 611-613 E. Midland, Bay City
    • Wonderland Theater
      (1909-13) 616 Adams, Bay city
    • Woods Opera House
      (1886-1902) 620 Washington, Bay City
    • Woodside Theater
      (1916-48) 1704 Woodside, Bay City

    Local Movie History!

    What's Missing?
    Please let us know if you are aware of other theaters that should be added to this page.

    There isn't much documented about local movie history which was the most popular form of entertainment prior to television. Even today, the big screen or stage of the theater remains the most enjoyable form of being entertained by actors, singers and musicians. The experience of being inside a theater is like a happening with others unique unique to the big screen and stage.

    Help us if you can to capture this history.

    Share a memory --
    Write an article, provide a vintage photo -- recalling what it was like attending one or more of these movie houses as a youngster? Or, ask your grandparents about their memories of them and share it here.

    If you love movies or history --
    Pick a theater and research its history, then publish it Bay-Journal with you as the author!

    Sources:

  • Compiled from Polk city directories.
  • "Historic State Theatre, Bay City, Michigan, 1906-2001", booklet by Mary Evans Greene, 2001
  • HELP US IF YOU CAN -- Contribute A Piece Of History To This Page!