4 Star Theatre

1950 S. Division Avenue,
Grand Rapids, MI 49507

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Jake Bottero
Jake Bottero on May 13, 2021 at 1:58 am

This building is no longer a “youth center”, it is abandoned.

DocF on August 2, 2016 at 12:12 pm

The 4 Star (not Four Star) was originally a second-run house. They played on week after the first run houses downtown. This place played day and date with the Eastown and the Our. I spent virtually every Saturday afternoon and either this bigger Art Deco house or at the Burton. After the war, the difference between second run and sub(sequent)-run pretty much disappeared. B&J also operated another set of theaters that ran as sub-run houses and ran the stuff that was at these theaters one week later. This group included the Royal and the Wealthy and, if I remember correctly, the Family.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 24, 2010 at 12:19 am

Boxoffice of August 13, 1938, says that construction had begun on the B&J circuit’s new Four Star Theatre in Grand Rapids. The architect of this neighborhood house was Frank L. Proctor. An ad for the American Seating Company in Boxoffice of December 10, 1938, also names Proctor, and has a small photo of the facade (lower left.)

All I’ve been able to dig up about Proctor on the Internet is that in 1907 he was a draftsman for the Grand Rapids architectural firm Williamson & Crow, and that the 1920 City Directory lists him as a partner of architect Henry E. Crow in Crow & Proctor, though Williamson was also listed as being in the same office. Proctor was apparently in a solo practice by the time he designed the Four Star.

Frank L. Proctor was probably also the architect of that name who, in 1905, modified plans by the firm of Winslow & Bigelow for a stable at an estate called Holmdene which is now the campus of Aquinus College. The former stable, by th en converted to other use, was rebuilt following a fire in 1978 (it is now a chapel), so I don’t know how much, if any, of the original building survives. I can’t find anything about any other buildings Proctor designed, but if the Four Star was typical of his work they’d certainly be worth a look.

TLSLOEWS on March 3, 2010 at 11:56 am

Very sad looking marquee ken mc.

TLSLOEWS on March 1, 2010 at 1:34 pm

Its seen its better days.

Twistr54 on March 1, 2010 at 1:01 pm

The Burton Capri is just 2 blocks south of this 4 Star theatre.

Twistr54 on March 1, 2010 at 1:00 pm

They ran pictures in the 70’s, grindhouse type, was a dance bar in the 90s, I was there once in 1991. Quite large auditorium, good slant to the floor, decent sized stage screen area, could of had a good big wide screen… Deco flavor thru the building, in 91, li looked in pretty good shape, but there is no parking, a tiny lot next to building good for about 5 cars, neighborhood has gown down, when I lived in GR, it was a rough black neighborhood, but the Mexicans have moved into this area now….. im sure its still full of crime, it looks very dirty, dangerous, and seedy near this area, Divison and Burton.

kencmcintyre on August 28, 2007 at 6:43 pm

In 1963, the Four Star was operated by B&J Theatres of Grand Rapids. Allen Johnson was the president. Butterfield Circuit was listed as the film buyer and booker. Presumably that’s where the initials came from. Besides the Four Star, B&J also operated the Wealthy and Eastown, both in Grand Rapids.