Ironwood Theatre - Ironwood MI

Address: 109 E Aurora St
City: Ironwood
State: MI
Zip: 49938
County: Gogebic
Open: 1928
Capacity: 732
Owner History:
Theater Type: Small Town Movie Palace
Number of visits to this page: 12711

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 Ironwood Theatre was built as a vaudeville/silent movie palace in 1928 under the direction of Architect Albert Nelson at a cost of $160,000. Under the leadership of A.L. Pikar, the theatre became the center of entertainment in the Ironwood area. The Hollywood Golden Age of the 30,s, 40s and 50s followed the Great Depression. In the 60s, the Ironwood Theatre was sold to Thomas Theatres of Iron Mountain. The theatre operated as a first run movie house until its' closing in 1982.

In 1982, owner Thomas Renn gave the Ironwood Theatre to the City of Ironwood through the Downtown Ironwood Development Authority(DIDA). Restoration efforts began at that time under the direction of the newly formed Ironwood Theatre Preservation Committee. On January 11, 1985, the Ironwood Theatre was placed on the National Registry of Historic Places.

In 1986, the DIDA was awarded a grant by the State of Michigan, beginning an extensive renovation program that is ongoing. Completed renovations include be seats in the main auditorium and balcony, carpeting, restoration of the ceiling mural, wall and beam decorations, as well as a new stage floor, heating and state of the art lighting and sound systems, to name a few. Restoration efforts at present include custom-made organ vent curtains funded by a grant from the Albert W. Cherne Foundation, and basement and ventilation improvements partly funded by the Michigan Council of the Arts and Cultural Affairs.

The Ironwood Theatre was incorporated in 1988 as an independent, non-profit cultural organization and the building is leased from the City of Ironwood. The Ironwood Theatre assumes all operating costs and all maintenance and repairs of the facility. In the absence of local tax support, it is funded by ticket sales, user fees, ad annual Friends Drive, a Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs grant, along with area business support and other fundraising activities. The Ironwood Theatre is a volunteer based organization with a 15 member Board of Directors, three employees and hundreds of dedicated volunteers.

Info Updates:
5/7/2011 - Fr. Darryl Pepin
This Theatre is alive and well This coming week (May 11, 2011) Paul Roberts, a theatre organist from England will play a concert on the Theatre 2/7 original Barton Theatre Pipe Organ The console was completely restored last summer and all the workings and pipes of the organ have been refurbished and restored over the past ten years by volunteers led by two professional organ technicians. The theatre's restoration a number of years ago proudly shows the magnificence of this movie palace. If you are ever in the Ironwood area, call the Theatre for a tour. We'd love to show you the crown jewel of Ironwood's downtown.
2/13/2003 - Michigans Historic Sites Online
The Ironwood Theatre complex includes the theater and a two-story commercial building. The theater building, containing a lobby and large auditorium, with stage, orchestra pit, and mezzanine, is richly furnished with Renaissance and Baroque elements. The commercial building, with its eight-bay facade, includes the theaters facade and bronze marquee. Directly above the marquee in the buildings front wall is a four-part, stained glass transom. The commercial block contains a department store and several other shops and offices. The building is flat-roofed, limestone-faced, and has transomed, Chicago commercial-style windows on the second story and storefronts in the first story. The building features a roofline cornice supported by brackets. The Ironwood Theatre, with its lavish Renaissance and Baroque-inspired interior, is significant as Ironwoods only unchanged example of the grand movie theater architecture constructed during the final years of vaudeville and silent films. Built in 1927 to 1928 by the architectural firm of N. Albert Nelson, the Ironwood was the first modern theater in the Ironwood vicinity and is significant for its contribution as an entertainment center. Though no longer operated as a motion picture theater, the Ironwood is used intermittently by the Gogebic Council for the Arts as a performing arts center.
Ironwood Theatre - From Theater Website
From Theater Website
Ironwood Theatre - Vintage Shot
Vintage Shot
Ironwood Theatre - Recent Shot
Recent Shot
Ironwood Theatre - Old Shot
Old Shot
Ironwood Theatre - Old Post Card
Old Post Card
Ironwood Theatre - Close Up From Jackie
Close Up From Jackie
Ironwood Theatre - 1940 Photo From Paul
1940 Photo From Paul
Ironwood Theatre - Feb 28 2008
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