Our Theatre - Grand Rapids MI

Address: 737 Leonard St NW
City: Grand Rapids
State: MI
Zip: 49504
County: Kent
Open: 1928
Owner History: Butterfield Theatres
Theater Type: Neighborhood House
Number of visits to this page: 16681

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 OUR Theatre Building hosted a nightly vaudeville act during the 1920s. It was later used as a photography studio. In 1984, John and Mary Hyatt purchased the building. With the Hyatts recent purchase of 60,000 square feet of nearby office & warehouse space, the OUR Theatre will soon be appearing in another incarnation, this time as a fully equipped film studio.

From Jim Killion

Was part of the theater's history in the early 80's. The 2nd floor was partially occupied by Waterfront Recording Studio. Equipment included an 8 channel Lamb quadraphonic board and an Otari 5050 8 channel recorder. Bands and artist included General Kaos, The Infections, Al Weiner and the Bunz, Al Green, 5th of July. At the time there were only 2 studios in GR. Ourselves and River City, which boasted a 16 channel operation.

By 1983, more than a half dozen studios sprang up with deep discounted rates, forcing Waterfront to quietly fold. 1st floor was partially occupied by the genesis of Sound Structures, Inc. They built custom PA's. The theater boasted the largest infinity wall in the area and hosted many ad agencies photo shoots.

From Jim Fahlstedt:

While I was in college, I managed this former Butterfield and Johnson second run theater. It was built with about 11-1200 seats, but seats had been removed over the years to allow a cheaper city license. When I ran it toward the end of its days, it seated 800. The booth contained the original Motiograph projectors. The arc lamps were Brenkert, which replace tho older low-voltage lamps.

We even had the old Westrex disc sound equipment in the booth. Our optical sound heads were Reynolds (later Westrex) and were probably original. We found lots of old depression glass, from the dish night days down in a storage room. Our operator, Walter Pond, found a huge trove of old trailers. One night, had no film (the film truck took our film to Standish in error. Wally spliced together three hours of trailers. Our regulars were happy. I had some great kids working for me there.

Info Updates:
10/30/2011 - Glenn G
As of 10/25/11 the original sign had become structurally unsound and was taken down. Plans are in the works to make plans from the old sign and see about erecting a new version of the old sign on the building.
7/5/2006 - Michael K. Kivinen
My late mother, Eleanor Kivinen (nee McGinnis), managed Our Theatre in the 1950s. It was there that my parents met.
3/19/2006 - David Kolenda
When the building was operating as a photo studio the auditorium floor was leveled flat to accommodate photo shoots. The projection booth is still there (all the equipment was removed long ago). There is a small patio next to the projection booth which originally served as a private viewing spot for the owners. Currently, the owners live in a refurbished apartment upstairs and the auditorium space is used for equipment demos, photo shoots and scenic construction.
2/28/2005 - Scott Higbee
After the Our Threate closed in the Late 60s it was home for a short time in the 70s to the Grand Rapids Civic Theater(Now Located at the former Majestic Theater Site)
5/28/2003 - WaterWinterWonderland
This long closed theatre is now the home of John S. Hyatt and Associates, a firm that sells theatrical lighting and supplies. I wonder if the auditorium is used to show off the product line!
Our Theatre - Vintage Shot
Vintage Shot
Our Theatre - Vintage Photo
Vintage Photo
Our Theatre - Now
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