Family Theater

132 Newman Street,
East Tawas, MI 48730

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Related Websites

Family Theater (Official)

Additional Info

Firms: Johnson Construction Co.

Functions: Movies (First Run)

Previous Names: Panoramic Theater

Phone Numbers: Box Office: 989.362.5505

Nearby Theaters

FAMILY Theatre; East Tawas, Michigan.

The Panoramic Theater was opened in 1910. It was renamed Family Theater in 1930. By 2004 it had split its 400-seat auditorium into two theaters. The twinning cost around $200,000 and took approximately three weeks to complete. The conversion reduced the total number of seats from 400 to 340, but increased the number of films the theater can show. The over 70-year-old theater will also be forced to cover up its beloved Jungle Book mural in order to install a new sound system.

Contributed by Ross Melnick

Recent comments (view all 10 comments)

Ed Collins
Ed Collins on September 3, 2004 at 9:13 am

I was born in 1961 and lived in the tiny town of East Tawas from 1968 thru 1976. I have many fond memories watching Saturday matinees at this theatre, when I was a kid. “The Castaway Cowboy” (1974) starring James Garner, “The Shakiest Gun in the West” (1968) starring Don Knotts, and Jaws (1976) are three movies that immediately come to mind. The last movie I saw here was “Love At First Bite” in 1979, when I came back to Tawas for a visit.

I’m glad to see the theatre is still open.

kencmcintyre on December 8, 2007 at 3:46 am

Not anymore. I’m off to Hawaii tomorrow for a week. No work and no computers.

Don Lewis
Don Lewis on November 22, 2010 at 5:41 am

From the 1960s a photo postcard view of the Family Theater in East Tawas.

TenPoundHammer on April 25, 2011 at 10:49 pm

Still a pleasant first-run theater. The lobby is very cramped and the two auditoriums are rather small, but it has a “community” feel.

I have vague memories of seeing Titanic here in 1997 and not liking it. At the time, the complex indeed had Jungle Book (Disney) paintings on the walls, and rustic decor in the lobby.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on April 26, 2011 at 12:45 am

Did you not like the Movie or the presentation at the theatre, ten poundhammer ?

TenPoundHammer on May 11, 2011 at 6:51 am

It was the movie I didn’t like. I was 10 in 1997, so I had no interest in very long movies, much less once about romance.

I’ve been here a couple more times since they twinned it. As I said, both theaters are VERY tiny â€" it must be about 12 seats wide in either one, plus a bench in the back of each auditorium. We usually watch from the bench.

graymatters on April 17, 2021 at 5:35 pm

Our family records show that my grandfather’s Johnson Construction Company remodeled the Family Theatre in East Tawas sometime in “the 30’s.”

The CinemaTour website says that “the Family Theatre opened in 1910 as the Panoramic and was renamed in 1930.” If the Johnson job was done in 1930 in conjunction with the renaming of the theater, it was the earliest of sixty-four theater and drive-in projects that we know that Al Johnson completed in Michigan. Regrettably, he did not leave behind any slides of this theater job.

The Family Theatre is still open and word has it that it recently has been bought by a family that intends to spruce it up and keep it open for years to come. This is one of eleven theaters built by my grandfather and other members of our family that remains open today.

nsortzi on August 4, 2023 at 8:49 am

Does anyone know the year this theater opened and the year it received its current facade?

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