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Source: Mike Maxson
The Silver Theatre was founded in Greenville, MI by Bert Silver. Bert had a long history in area show business. In 1904 he started tent shows and had the first motorized circus in the U.S. with four touring cars, four trucks, and an advance car. Bert and his entire family played in the Silver Family Concert Band both as part of the circus, and in their own concerts. In 1916 the circus was disbanded because the U.S. Army appropriated its vehicles and tents for their efforts in WWI.
Earlier, in 1909, Bert opened a theatre in what is now the bank building in downtown Greenville (picture 2). In 1915 he purchased the Phelps Opera House and renamed it the Silver Theatre (picture 3). In 1939 it was sold to Butterfield Theatres, with one of the conditions being that they had to provide a seat for Bert at any of the shows for the rest of his life. The Silver was a mainstay of Greenville's downtown providing concerts and movies for generations of area residents before sadly being torn down in June of 1988. It is now a parking lot.