855 Penniman Avenue,
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Architects: Charles Howard Crane
Previous Names: P & A Theatre, Plymouth Art Theatre
Built for Kate Penniman-Allen in 1918 and commonly known as the P & A, this theater could seat around 600, but was equipped with everything a large movie palace would contain, including a large stage, orchestra pit, and an organ. Penniman-Allen also ran an adjancent dance hall.
In the early-1920’s, she raised the ire of many of the citizens of conservative Plymouth when she stated that she wanted to begin showing films on Sundays.
In the 1940’s, the P & A Theatre was operated by Harry Lush, who also operated another P & A in Northville, as well as the Penn Theatre, just down the street from the P & A Theatre in Plymouth. In the late-1950’s and early-1960’s, the Hohler family, which also owned the Farmington Civic, ran the P & A Theatre (and also the P & A Theatre in Northville).
Starting in the early-1960’s, it was known as the Plymouth Art Theatre, and screened foreign and industrial features.
In 1968, the theater was destroyed in a fire.
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Recent comments (view all 3 comments)
The October 6, 1917,issue of The American Contractor had an item saying that contracts had been awarded for construction of a motion picture theater, hall, and office building to be built at Plymouth, Michigan, for Kate E. Allen. The projected cost for the two-story, 100x90-foot building was $30,000. The project had been designed by architect C. Howard Crane.
Hello, Yes the theater burned to the ground in 1968, and I was there watching the smoldering disaater. I also obtained a pair of seats from the theater that I have had stored in my basement for the last 43 years.
Picture attached. They are being offerd up for a good home. Make me an offer if interested. Pictures available on Ann Arbor Criagslist.
3 post fire Winter 1968 photos added credit Paul Fogarty.