Michigan Theatre

75 Michigan Avenue West,
Battle Creek, MI 49015

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rivest266 on September 11, 2016 at 2:20 pm

October 21st, 1941 grand opening ad in photo section.

William Dakota
William Dakota on July 20, 2011 at 9:38 am

I managed the Michigan theater around 1960. I was transferred there from the Capitol in Flint. Butterfield theaters was the owners. I also had to work for the Bijou manager. I had to take his concession inventory every week. He was weird and I didn’t like him. I liked all of my employees and we had a ball. The theater was old and I tried cleaning up the lobby with displays and repairing the wall covering.

I had never been to Battle Creek before and I loved the city. There used to be after hour jazz sessions in private homes. A group from Chicago, THE THREE SOUNDS used to visit and play.The people were all friendly and the few bars I was able to get served in, were all nice. I was only 20 at the time. The cleaning lady and her husband took me to Chicago. I had never been there before. I was wearing a tuxedo from the theater, and we visited the poor black section of the city. I felt embarrassed. They all thought I was rich-smile!

We ran old Laurel and Hardy shorts that went over real well for the young crowd unfamiliar with them. There was a military regiment there. I forget if they were Army, Marines, or Air-force. They came to the theater weekends with their dates.

Bob Smock replaced me when I was transferred back to Flint to manage the Della theater there. Bob had also managed the Regent theater in Flint. Then he moved to California and managed a theatre, them moved back to Lansing, married a former concession worker from Battle Creek, and unfortunately died at a young age.

I was saddened to see that the two theaters, The Michigan and Bijou had been demolished. The 8 Butterfield theaters in Flint all closed too and were demolished. The Capitol remains but it is closed.

I was Bill Kern in those days and later Dakota. I lived in Hollywood many years and now back in Lima but moving back to Flint in a month or so (8/30/2011). My email is

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 29, 2010 at 4:30 am

The Michigan Theatre was on the south side of the street, which would give it an odd-numbered address. The correct address is 75 Michigan Avenue West. The Michigan Theatre opened October 21, 1941, and was demolished in October, 1984, according to this book.

kencmcintyre on April 14, 2009 at 7:08 pm

This may be the image Bryan was referring to in 2005:

CSWalczak on September 6, 2005 at 8:36 am

This theater was operated by the Butterfield circuit. I went there a few times in the early 1970’s; at that time, its interior was very plain, almost devoid of any ornament or decoration.