Lansing in Ingham County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
Theater District / The Strand
On April 21 1921, this building opened as the Strand Theater and Arcade. The 2000-seat theater boasted one of the largest vaudeville stages in the state and a screen for viewing motion pictures. The building was the pride of theater mogul Walter J. Butterfield and one of 300 theaters created by Chicago architect John Eberson, who designed the interior in a French theme with a blue sky and filmy clouds painted on the ceiling. The arcade's office suites, bowling alleys, ballroom and 14 stores, including the Cinderella Tea Shop and the Palace of Sweets Candy Shop made the arcade one of Lansing's most distinctive commercial spaces. In 1941 the theater was renovated and renamed the Michigan. It closed in 1980.
As early as the 1870s Washington Avenue was the center of Lansing's Theater District. In 1921 the marquee lights glowed for the first time here at the Strand, which joined the Bijou, the Colonial, the Empress, the Garden, the Orpheum, the Vaudette, the Plaza and the Gladmer in featuring vaudeville and motion pictures. In 1927 the first "talkie," The Jazz Singer, opened at the Capitol Theater (formerly the Empress) heralding the end of vaudeville. Owners rushed to equip their theaters for sound. During the 1970s multiplexes drew audiences away from downtown theaters. The Strand,
Erected 2001. (Marker Number L2097.)
Marker series. This marker is included in the Michigan Historical Commission marker series.
Location. 42° 43.921′ N, 84° 33.127′ W. Marker is in Lansing, Michigan, in Ingham County. Marker is on S. Washington Ave., on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 211-219 Washington Square., Lansing MI 48933, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Jeff Daniels b. 1955 (here, next to this marker); Rosa Parks 1913-2005 (within shouting distance of this marker); Ernie Harwell b. 1918 (within shouting distance of this marker); Lansing's First Capitol Building / Lansing Becomes the Capital City (within shouting distance of this marker); Helen Thomas B. 1920 (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Stevie Wonder b. 1950 (about 300 feet away); Thomas Edison 1847-1931 (about 400 feet away); Capital Bank Tower (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Lansing.
Categories. • Architecture • Arts, Letters, Music • Entertainment •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 6, 2017. This page originally submitted on May 23, 2017, by Bill Rieske of Lansing, Michigan. This page has been viewed 87 times since then and 19 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on May 26, 2017, by Bill Rieske of Lansing, Michigan. 3. submitted on May 23, 2017, by Bill Rieske of Lansing, Michigan. 4. submitted on May 26, 2017, by Bill Rieske of Lansing, Michigan. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.