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Source: Cinema Treasures
This classic small town movie theatre in Bad Axe, Michigan is depicted in Popcorn Palaces, the book about the history of small town theaters (which includes paintings by Davis Cone). In recent years, the balcony was enclosed to create a second auditorium.
Source: Andy Gray
This photo of the Bad Axe Theatre, was taken in September 1948 by my grandfather A.S. “Al” Johnson, who remodeled the theater in 1935 and again in 1947. The theater is located in an old Knights of Columbus building at 309 E. Huron Avenue in Bad Axe, Michigan, and it’s still open.
The image of the theater shows four red "art moderne" style entrance doors with half-octagonal glass. These doors, or identical replacements, are seen in a 2020 view of the theater, and are typical of several theaters that Al built or remodeled in the 1940’s and ‘50s. The Cinema Treasures site says: "This classic small town movie theatre in Bad Axe, Michigan opened on February 21, 1916 with 500 seats."
Photo update from Andy Gray 8-11-2022
These are the remaining photos of the 1947 Bad Axe Theatre opening party that I found recently in Al Johnson’s papers. Al’s wife Anne Johnson (my grandmother) can be seen looking at the photographer as she sips from a coffee or tea cup in the second photo. Anne Bannick Guigar of Bad Axe, believes the guitar player/singer in the second photo is her dad Arlen Bannick. He’s still alive and I’m waiting for her to confirm that for me.
Mark Rolfe is the current owner and he also operates Longshot Lanes in town.