Tahqua-Land Theatre - Newberry MI

Address: 212 Newberry Ave
City: Newberry
State: MI
Zip: 49868
County: Luce
Open: 1930
Capacity: 250
Owner History:
Theater Type: Small Town Movie Palace
Number of visits to this page: 9665

Please note that location entries may feature older photos or post card views that may not represent the current appearance, features, addresses, phone numbers, or contact names of the attraction. This site is intended to be a historical as well as current record of various attractions but it is not always possible to have up-to-date information due to the vast number of locations featured here. We ask you consult the propietor for current information.

General Information:

The Tahqua Land Theater opened in August of 1930 as the State Theater. It closed in 1969. The theater reopened in August of 1974 and received a renovation over the next three years. In 1997 the theater closed again. After receiving another renovation, the Tahqua Land Theater reopened in 2001 and remains open today. Update: As of 2022, the theater is listed as permanently closed.

Info Updates:
4/17/2021 - Web

This ornate 1930's gem of a theatre, started out as The State Theatre, built by Thomas Shimmens and constructed in 1929, opened in August of 1930. Costing $60,000 of which $30,000 was a bond issue, all sold to citizens of Newberry. Seating was for 400 and shows changed four times a week. Movies were shown daily until 1969 and were an important corner stone for the area. This beautiful Upper Peninsula Historical Theater was built during the depression. Beautiful woodwork, plaster and lighting fixtures made the theatre a unqiue place for our town.

From Tahqua-Land Theater Website

9/24/2015 - John McDowell
This appeared recently in the Detroit Free Press. If you go to their web site there are pictures and a video. NEWBERRY – He has given this place everything. And now he might lose it all. Fred Dunkeld is the owner, the ticket taker and the film projectionist at the Tahqua Land Theatre, a tiny movie house built 85 years ago in the middle of the Upper Peninsula. Here in Newberry, the moose capital of Michigan, a builder long ago thought that the people of a small town deserved the kind of magnificent theater usually found in big cities. He outfitted it with decorative moldings and colorful murals, and lit its rooms with chandeliers. Four decades ago, Dunkeld found it abandoned and shuttered, overrun by rats and clogged with coal dust. It was for sale. And he wanted it. At first he just wanted to own a business, to have a source of income. “And then I got looking at it,” he said. He was at the back of the theater one day after he’d bought it, taking it all in as the daylight poured in through the reopened doors. “I remember sitting back here on an old wooden box, a milk crate, saying, ‘Wow, there’s more to this place than I realized. ’ ” He spent a year and a fortune cleaning it out and restoring it to what it once was. He moved into the apartments upstairs and opened an office next door for his day job in real estate. His whole life was here. And anytime he made a big sale, he put the money into his beloved theater to make it better. Then the rug was pulled out from under him. A few years ago, the Hollywood studios that supply movies to theaters announced they were soon switching from film to digital. The big theaters, such as the multiplexes with a dozen screens, handled the cost of the switch easily. But hundreds of small, independent movie houses around the country have struggled to come up with the tens of thousands of dollars needed for the new equipment. Some have succeeded. Some have failed and closed forever. Dunkeld tried twice to raise the funds and fell far short both times. “They did it in Rogers City and Grayling,” he said, noting two Michigan cities where old theaters have raised funds for the conversion. “But there’s just not that much money up here. It’s just a bunch of Yoopers up here. ” There’s no hard deadline from the studios, no official final date for the switch. Every film he gets could be the last one sent to him. So he waits, either for the last show or for a miracle. “About all I do is buy a lottery ticket every week, which I know isn’t going to work,” he said. “But it helps you sleep. ” To see the Tahqua Land Theatre’s Go Fund Me page, go to gofundme. com/tahqualandtheatre.
2/23/2003 - WaterWinterWonderland
Tahqua Land Theatre of Newberry, Michigan is an incredible masterpiece of art. This historical theatre has been restored in a Greek Mythological theme that echoes qualities only seen in Europe. Every detail was painstakingly met with the expertise of master artists and designers. Real Italian Stucco, hand casted plaster mouldings, over 10,000 sheets of Gold Leafing and 11 large scale paintings greet the patrons as they enter the movie theatre.
Tahqua-Land Theatre - Sept 2003 Photo
Sept 2003 Photo
Tahqua-Land Theatre - From American Classic Images
From American Classic Images
Tahqua-Land Theatre - 1940S Ticket From Paul
1940S Ticket From Paul
Tahqua-Land Theatre - Interior
Tahqua-Land Theatre - Pocorn
Tahqua-Land Theatre - 1975 Newberry High Yearbook Ad
1975 Newberry High Yearbook Ad
Tahqua-Land Theatre - 1976 Newberry High Yearbook Ad
1976 Newberry High Yearbook Ad
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