Drayton Theatre

4396 Dixie Highway,
Drayton Plains, MI 48329

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Additional Info

Firms: Johnson Construction Co.

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Drayton Theatre. Kodachrome image taken by Albert S.

The Drayton Theatre in Drayton Plains, MI was a 1941 project by Johnson Construction Co. It’s not clear whether this was a remodeling project or new construction, though the gabled roofline and brick chimney might indicate that an existing building was renovated into a movie theatre at some point. It was opened in July 1941.

My grandfather Albert S. “Al” Johnson left me with a Kodachrome slide taken in September 1948.

Contributed by Andy Gray

Recent comments (view all 3 comments)

graymatters on April 20, 2021 at 3:46 pm

The color slide that Al shot in September 1948 (seven years after his completed project), shows an “art moderne” style incorporating tan brickwork and a cream and red color scheme typical of many of the Johnson projects. The porcelain enamel tiles in this color scheme cover the first ten feet or so of the theater front. Two 1948 movies are listed on the marquee: “Jinx Money” (a Bowery Boys film) and “Carson City Raiders” (a Western).

There’s little online information available about this theater, other than that it was located “on Dixie Highway between Sashabaw and the short little street, Monroe.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 27, 2021 at 11:24 pm

A brief notice in Boxoffice of May 3, 1952 said “Lou Mitchell is planning to close the Drayton Theatre at Drayton Plains and convert it to commercial use.” Ads placed in the same issue by Mitchell offered the theater’s equipment for sale “at once.” The conversion to commercial use apparently didn’t take place, though as Motion Picture Herald of October 11 that year said:

“Louis Mitchell of Kilbride Theaters has sold the Drayton theater in suburban Drayton Plains to a religious organization for use as a church. The theatre had been the only one in the town of Drayton Plains.”
The August 19, 1941 issue of Film Daily reported on a clearance lawsuit filed by Drayton Theatre owner Bud Harris, and it said that he had opened the house “six weeks ago.” The July 18 issue of the same journal had reported that the decoration of the house had been done by T. Jagmin, Inc, of Detroit.

nsortzi on September 21, 2023 at 9:31 pm

Drayton Plains is an unincorporated community in Waterford Township, so shouldn’t this be listed as being in Waterford?

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