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From Cinema Treasures
The Bijou Theatre was Flint’s first vaudeville house and was developed by Col. Walter S. Butterfield. Col. Butterfield converted two storefronts in 1905 into a theatre. It was remodeled and/or renovated in 1909, 1910 and 1913. On September 18, 1915 following a remodeling also gave it a new name, the Garden Theatre.
Its seating capacity was expanded to 1,080 in 1917 to the plans of architect John Eberson, and was converted to talkies with both Vitaphone and Movietone in 1929. The first talkie shown at the Garden Theatre was “The Wild Party” starring Clara Bow. It was torn down in 1939 to make way for the new Garden Theatre (which has its own page on Cinema Treasures).