Main Theatre

64 E. Chicago Street,
Coldwater, MI 49036

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Additional Info

Firms: Johnson Construction Co.

Functions: Gymnasium

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Main Theatre

The Main Theatre in Coldwater, Michigan was opened in 1942. It may have been built to serve local moviegoers when the Tibbits Opera House, located a few blocks away, ceased operations as a movie theater around that time.

Its architecture is not distinguished, just a simple concrete-block building with a brick fa├žade with small storefronts left and right of the entrance. Its interior was very nondescript.

It was triplexed in the late-1980’s or early-1990’s in an attempt to survive the dynamics of the marketplace, but the opening of a new multiplex in the ever-growing commercial area at the junction of I-69 and Chicago Street (US-12) sealed its demise. It was closed in 1999. It now serves as a women’s physical fitness center.

Contributed by Christopher Walczak

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on May 16, 2007 at 1:53 pm

There is a photo of the theater just before its closure on the other web site.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 18, 2010 at 4:10 am

Boxoffice indicates a late 1941 or early 1942 opening for the Main Theatre. The issue of January 31, 1942, has this item datelined Coldwater, Michigan: “The new Main, owned by Robert H. Moore and William J. Schulte, has opened here. The old Crystal, owned and managed by Moore, has been closed. Moore will manage the new house.”

CSWalczak
CSWalczak on May 12, 2011 at 1:51 pm

This theater closed MUCH later than 1980; I was living in Quincy, just down the road from Coldwater, right up to 1985 and revisited the area frequently afterwards for many years, and it did fairly well almost up to the end. It closed almost twenty years later; its closing coincided with the opening of the seven-screen multiplex on the edge of town which occured in 1999.

TomMc11
TomMc11 on June 8, 2018 at 1:14 pm

Google Street view from August of 2015 shows the marquee still there, but the bulbs, the word MAIN and the place to hold the letters are now gone, and some damage has exposed the light bulbs on one side.

graymatters
graymatters on April 17, 2021 at 8:20 am

The Main Theatre in Coldwater was built by my grandfather Albert S. “Al” Johnson. A 1943 Box Office issue cited on this (Cinema Treasures) website indicates that the theater opened in 1942.

The accompanying June 1948 Kodachrome image (with “State of the Union” on the marquee) taken by Al Johnson shows the theatre in an “art deco” or “art moderne” style including three pairs of doors with half-octagonal glass. These were a type of the patented “Johnson doors” that were seen on several of Al’s theaters projects of the 1930s through 1950s.

The tan and red color scheme of the porcelain-like tiled front of the theater is one of those seen in several Johnson-built theaters of the era.

Family records of Johnson Construction Company theater projects also show a 1938 Coldwater job as “Crystal?” The Cinema Treasures website has this reference to the Crystal Theatre: “The [Box Office] issue of January 31, 1942 has this item datelined Coldwater, Michigan: ‘The new Main, owned by Robert H. Moore and William J. Schulte, has opened here. The old Crystal, owned and managed by Moore, has been closed. Moore will manage the new house.’ ”

I could find no other online reference to the Crystal Theatre in Coldwater.

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