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Grand Theatre

Address: 22 Washington Ave
City: Grand Haven State: MI Zip: Phone:  
County: Ottawa
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Open: 1927 Closed: 1999 Capacity:    
Owner: Butterfield Theatres
Web Address:
Number of visits to this page since Sept 2013: 3669

9/9/2012 - Jim Fahlstedt
We kept our boats in Grand Haven and would sometimes venture down to the Grand to catch a movie. When we were doing this it was still a Jack Loeks theater. It is sad to remember the happy times at so many of these old theaters that are now gone.
2/8/2007 - Dan Goodman
(News article as appeared in the Muskegon Chronicle May 24th 1971) “Shoe Thrown Through GH Movie Screen” Grand Haven- City police today were questioning a group of Grand Haven youths in connection with vandalism to the large motion picture screen at the Grand Theatre during the Saturday night show,…. ”The Wild Country” F. P. Fisher, Manager, told police Sunday that one of the youths threw his shoe through the screen, putting a hole in it. Damage may amount to $2,500.

00 Mr. Fisher said.
2/7/2005 - Grand Rapids Press
Grand transformation of theater Saturday, January 08, 2005 By Kym Reinstadler The Grand Rapids Press GRAND HAVEN -- For most of its 77 years, The Grand has brought culture to downtown Grand Haven. But the cinema is slated to be demolished Wednesday to make way for a seafood restaurant and condominiums by owner Steve Loftis. The theater marquee and entrance facing Washington Street will be preserved for a 100-seat restaurant with jazz performed live nightly where the lobby now stands. A four-story building including 20 lofts, each with about 1,300 square feet of living space, will be constructed facing Front Street on the site of the theaters auditorium. Both new ventures will use the name The Grand.

Keeping The Grand a theater was always my first choice, said Loftis, who bought the building in May 2000 just before the property was to be auctioned by a bank foreclosing on its mortgage. The support just wasnt there to make that happen. We think we have a good plan here that will benefit the redevelopment vision for downtown. A development plan has not yet come before the city Planning Commission.

Demolition and cleanup is expected to take at least two weeks. Construction of the restaurant is to be complete by May 1, Loftis said. The condominiums will take 12 to 16 months to construct. The Grand theater has been closed since 1999.

Loftis and wife, Carole, hoped to update the building as a performing arts center but couldnt raise enough money. Pope and a Petoskey investor bought into the project in 2002. The three proposed an ambitious retail and residential development, but the city officials said that scheme wasnt in sync with Grand Havens master plan.

2/7/2005 - Holland Sentinel
Theater coming down Owners of Grand plan restaurant and condos, will save buildings marquee By MARK BROOKY The Grand Haven Tribune Theres a new plan for the Grand. Owners Steve Loftis and Ross Pope plan to tear down the 77-year-old movie house this winter, save for the big marquee and theater entrance, and replace it with a new four-story building. The project includes a seafood-focused restaurant where the theater lobby now sits, and up to 20 condominiums in a four-story building behind it to replace the main part of the old theater. Its planned 52-foot height and four stories hit the maximum numbers allowed under the zoning rules for the downtown business district. We believe this project will assist in the continued effort to reinvigorate and enhance our downtown and community at-large, Loftis said.

The Grand plan is the latest redevelopment project in downtown Grand Haven in less than a year. The Grand Theatre, 22 Washington Ave. , has been closed since December 1999. The property was to be auctioned off by a bank in a mortgage foreclosure in May 2000 when Steve and Carole Loftis stepped in days before the scheduled auction and bought it.

The Grand Haven couple also bought the adjacent and the then-closed Dee Lite restaurant, 24 Washington, the following January and reopened it the next month. Construction is expected to begin in March, but demolition of the theater is scheduled to begin Wednesday. Loftis anticipates the Grand project will be completed by the end of this year or early 2006.

1/13/2004 - Cinema Treasures
The 1928 Grand Theatre in downtown Holland initially operated as a mixed vaudeville, live stage show and movie venue in its early years. After years as a movie theater, the Grand was briefly operated in the late 90s as a performing arts center, but closed again due to limited success. There is now interest in converting the old theater into a children's museum. Cinema Treasures Link.
2/12/2003 - WaterWinterWonderland
Passing of deadline keeps theaters future in limbo - Investor group still sought for historic landmark By MARK BROOKY - Grand Haven Tribune An option for the city to technically buy the historic downtown Grand Theatre expired Friday without any action. But that doesnt mean the deal is dead, according to building owner Steve Loftis. The city was acting as a conduit for efforts by the Loutit Foundation to set up a group of investors to purchase the old movie house at 22 Washington Ave. Foundation Vice President Thomas Boven announced March 1 that the philanthropic organization would provide up to $40,000, and pass it through the Grand Haven Central Business District Development Authority, to keep the property on ice until July 6. In the meantime, Boven said, a small cluster of partners would be sought to purchase the theater for $415,000.

Boven said such a grant had to pass through a municipal or charitable entity, such as the citys development authority, which unanimously accepted the grant and its terms on March 1. Neither the city or the development authority was to have any expenditures in the venture, nor own the building at any point in time. Back in March, Boven said it would likely take another $2. 5 million to renovate the building into a multi-faceted performing arts center.

The investment group, which Boven said could include the Loutit Foundation and another philanthropic group, as well as private investors, would continue to own the property while turning its operation over to a non-profit community board. Or so had been the plan. The four-month-old agreement was allowed to lapse at its 5 p. m.

Friday deadline. Some potential investors had discussed joining the proposed partnership to own the theater, Boven said Friday, but the complex arrangement did not materialize -- at least not yet. He does believe that another effort along the same lines as the earlier plan will develop and could again involve the Loutit Foundation. Boven said the foundation would continue to work with the propertys owners, Steve and Carole Loftis of Grand Haven, in order to develop the theater into a community arts center.

The agreement included payments to the Loftises of $5,000 for each of the past four months. The option deal also included a $12,500 payment to Rockford Construction Co. for a preliminary renovation study, and $2,500 to Chrysler Audio of Grand Rapids to perform an acoustic and sound study of the building. We just ran short of time, Loftis said.

Were still working together and theres lots of positive stuff happening. Loftis said marketing studies ared continuing and that it just really takes a lot of time for a project like this. The theater was nearly sold at a mortgage foreclosure auction before the Loftises purchased it in May 2000. Except for a charitable event or two, the theaters doors have been closed since December 1999.

The 10,000-square-foot theater was built in 1927 and is a designated local historical landmark. The property is an L-shaped parcel, with a narrow lobby fronting Washington Avenue and the main auditorium directly behind the neighboring Dee-Lite Bar & Grill, 24 Washington Ave. , which is also owned by the Loftises. The Loftises held focus groups consisting of citizens and experts this past fall and winter, and eventually hired Rockford Construction Co.

to develop plans for the theaters renovation.
2/12/2003 - WaterWinterWonderland
Group may buy Grand Theatre - By MARK BROOKY - Grand Haven Tribune A local philanthropic group has bought some time to find a group of investors willing to purchase and renovate the Grand Theatre into a showplace performing arts center. The Loutit Foundation will funnel up to $40,000 through the citys Central Business District Development Authority to keep that option open until July 6. The authority unanimously accepted the grant and its terms during a special meeting Thursday, subject to review by the citys attorney. Tom Boven, a Loutit Foundation trustee and the organizations vice president, said the grant must pass through a municipal or charitable entity. The city or its authority will not have any expenditures in the venture, nor own the building at any point, and will only act as a conduit for the foundations efforts, Boven explained.

The option agreement allows Boven, on behalf of the Loutit Foundation, four months to set up a small group of investors who are willing to say that we believe in the community enough to spend an awful lot of money to make this happen -- estimated at nearly $3 million. The investment group -- a small cluster of partners that could include the Loutit Foundation and Grand Haven Area Community Foundation -- would purchase the building from Steve and Carole Loftis for $415,000. The investors would then renovate the building into a multi-faceted performing arts center. The renovation is estimated at about $2.

5 million. The investment group would continue to own the building, but its operations would be backgrounds. The property would remain on the tax roll, but the nonprofit board would be able to accept grants and charitable donations for its operations and the variety of events it might stage at the theater, Boven said. It will reflect the values of this community, he added.

Because that is who will be using it. The option to purchase -- which expires July 6 -- includes payments of $5,000 a month to the Loftises to keep it open. Steve Loftis said it costs a lot of money to just maintain the empty building and pay the debt for purchasing it last May. The Grand Theatre closed December 1999 and was nearly sold at a mortgage foreclosure auction last May before the Loftises purchased it.

They will only say they paid less than the previous owners asking price of $405,000. The Loftises purchased the adjacent Dee Lite restaurant early this year and reopened it in February. They also own the Snug Harbor restaurant and a hospitality industry consulting and training business. The 10,000-square-foot theater was built in 1927 and is a designated local historical landmark.

The property is an L-shaped parcel, with a narrow lobby fronting Washington Avenue and the main auditorium directly behind the Loftises Dee Lite Bar & Grill. The Loftises held focus groups, consisting of citizens and experts, and eventually hired Rockford Construction Co. to develop plans for the theaters renovation. The Loutit grant will pay $12,500 toward Rockfords preliminary management services, and another $2,500 for Chrysler Audio of Grand Rapids to perform a feasibility study of the buildings acoustics and sound needs.

Steve Loftis said he would consult and advise Boven over the next four months. After the sale, he said his role would dwindle to being a potential member of the proposed centers board of directors. Boven said he already has discussed the deal with potential investors but declined to name anyone. He said enough money already is pledged to purchase the building, but not enough to complete the renovation.

The performing arts center would attract visitors to Grand Haven year-round, according to Boven, resulting in a more vibrant downtown. He said that is the reason the foundations are involved in the project. Mayor Ed Lystra said the city and downtown businesses owe a big thank you to the Loutit Foundation for moving forward with the project. Authority member Dirk Wierenga added, This is the most exciting thing Ive seen in the downtown since I can remember.

Grand Theatre - ANOTHER ANGLE
Grand Theatre - TICKET

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