Park Theatre - Grand Rapids MI

Address: 433 N Park St NE
City: Grand Rapids
State: MI
Zip: 49525
County: Kent
Owner History:
Theater Type: Neighborhood House
Number of visits to this page: 6328

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:

Source: Doug Taylor

The Park Theater, built about 1932 and also known as the North Park, ended movie operations in the mid-1950's. For many years its location was given in newspaper ads as “2 blocks north of the Soldiers' Home. ” As a theater, it had a small 2-line marquee and a rather standard dark brown and cream trim. Entrance to the theater was in the right half of the building as seen in the photo, with the lobby running straight along the east side of the building; patrons turned left and went into the auditorium facing west.

Llewellyn (Lew) M. and Maude G. Struik, brother and sister, of 728 Fountain N. E. , were the owners and operators of the theater. It was converted into two store spaces with apartments overhead. Its legal description is: the E80' of Lot 46 & the E80' of the S30' of Lot 45, North Park Place Addition. In 1972 the owners were M/M John Bursma of O-11621 Eighth Avenue (phone 677-1032), who were selling to retire. The asking price was $49,500, although the assessed valuation was only $12,500.

At that time a laundromat and a restaurant occupied the building, and there was a new roof. Heat was gas, with forced air. There were toilets and lavatories, off-street parking, and a small garage. Doug Fricano and Fricano's Pizza occupied the east half of the structure from November 18, 1996, until bought out by Giuseppe's Pizza in August, 2006. (Information provided by Father Dennis Morrow).

Info Updates:
12/7/2010 - Doug Taylor
The Park Theater closed in 1955 and the admission I believe was either $. 14 or $. 19. The theater showed Old Movies and Class B movies. A sister and brother, Maude and Louie Sprike from Belmont, owned the theater and in 1955 they was in their mid 70's, which might have contributed to the closing of the theater. I remember Maude running the ticket booth and Louie running the projectors. They always had somebody selling candy. Bob Rowe was one of those kids. My brother Mick and I met Bob about 2 years ago and spent better part of the afternoon across the Street from the Old Park Theater in a coffee shop reminiscing about the theater. I wish I would have taken better notes, as Bob passed away about a year ago. Bob grew up a few blocks from our house and his mother was a Cub Scout Pack Mother and my oldest brother Jim was in that pack. Bob was a few years older than Jim. Bob Rowe retired as a Grand Rapids Policeman, but one very interesting thing about Bob is he had the second largest collection of movie wardrobe in the world, only second to Debbie Reynolds collection. Bob was the unofficial Historian of the Park Theater and I'm sure Maude and Louie are proud of him. After Bob retired from the GR Police Dept. , he moved to Pioche, NV. where he started his wardrobe collection. I just moved to the U. P. of Michigan and still have stuff stored away. When I find the pictures of the theater in the next few days, I will post them also.
11/29/2010 - Doug Taylor
John the Park Theater is still at 433 North Park St. and the American Legion is still down the Street where it has been forever. I use to go to the Theater when I was a kid. I will gather all my history I have on the Park Theater and post it as soon as I find it. My brother and I meet with Bob Rowe a couple of years ago. He was the historian of the place for years, as he worked there as a kid. My brother said he just passed away almost a year ago. Bob lived in Arizona I believe? I also worked in the mid 60's at the Shell Station just 2 business to the east, after the theater closed and was going to rent one of the 2 apartments upstairs, but was told they were cold in the winter.
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Park Theater June 2011 By Doug Taylor © 2024 Over 72,966,800 Served