E. Saginaw Street and N. Clippert Street,
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Architects: Drew Eberson
Previous Names: Spartan Twin Theatre
The Spartan Twin Theatre (named for the Michigan State University Spartans) opened October 11, 1967 with Dean Martin in “A Rough Night in Jericho” & Richard Burton in “The Taming of the Shrew”. It was located in the Frandor Shopping Center, not far from the west edge of the MSU campus.
The original two auditoriums (Spartan Twin East & Spartan Twin West) were simply decorated in a contemporary style with large screens. The signs posted during construction indicated that the theatre was going to be operated by Fox Eastern Theatres, but it opened as a National General Theatres operation. Later, management passed to the Mann Theatres chain and finally to UA.
At its opening, it was a state-of the-art house and may have had 70mm capability; films such as “Patton”, “2001”, and “Brainstorm” played there.
One of the auditoriums was halved in the 1980’s. During that decade the theatre lost its allure concurrent with the growing shabbiness of the Frandor Shopping Center as a retail center. In addition, the same forces that led to the closure of the theatres in downtown Lansing and East Lansing, especially the growth of muliplexes in the malls east and west of Lansing coupled with the many films available to MSU students and staff on the campus, undoubtedly led to its closure in February 1994.
After closing as a theatre, the building was converted to a commercial children’s playspace. It was then razed and a chain drugstore occupies the location now.
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