atkinsDA

Former Four Star Theatre Division and Burton

19 posts in this topic

There might already be something here on this, but does anyone know the current (as of Feb 2017) status of the old Four Star Theatre on Division just north of Burton (1950 Division Ave S)? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Posted (edited)

Last I heard, a church has purchased the building (or at least an option to purchase), and is in the process of fundraising/planning. They seem to have a keen interest on making the building a community center, rather than just using it on Sunday mornings. Here's their website: http://www.unisongr.com/unison-theater-project/

Edited by organsnyder

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's a good idea, turn a non-tax producing prime property into a..... non-tax producing property. Is the Kroc Center not a holy enough community center for people? Asking for a friend. :)

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From a tax revenue perspective, it would be no different than the Wealthy Theatre, no?

I find it unlikely that this building would be able to house a for-profit business in the foreseeable future. There are plenty of other developable properties nearby. I'm fine with it being owned by a non-profit (religious or otherwise), as long as the facility serves the community throughout the week.

I have no affiliation with this church (I really know very little about it), but I'm happy to see them taking an interest in the building. They seem (from what I've heard) to have the right mindset when it comes to envisioning how the building would fit in with the neighborhood.

Also, regarding the Kroc: In almost every way, it's a suburban-style facility. From the perspective of Burton Heights, it might as well be on 28th Street. Nothing wrong with that, but it's nowhere near filling the same need as what the Four Star Theatre has the potential to fill.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/7/2017 at 7:46 AM, organsnyder said:

From a tax revenue perspective, it would be no different than the Wealthy Theatre, no?

I find it unlikely that this building would be able to house a for-profit business in the foreseeable future. There are plenty of other developable properties nearby. I'm fine with it being owned by a non-profit (religious or otherwise), as long as the facility serves the community throughout the week.

I have no affiliation with this church (I really know very little about it), but I'm happy to see them taking an interest in the building. They seem (from what I've heard) to have the right mindset when it comes to envisioning how the building would fit in with the neighborhood.

Also, regarding the Kroc: In almost every way, it's a suburban-style facility. From the perspective of Burton Heights, it might as well be on 28th Street. Nothing wrong with that, but it's nowhere near filling the same need as what the Four Star Theatre has the potential to fill.

All I see is churches for miles! :) I think the last thing these inner city neighborhoods need are more churches, liquor stores or check cashing places (yes, I lump them together). They've traditionally not served the communities well in raising them up from their current impoverished situation. Kroc Center is a backwards thinking church masquerading as a health club. 

At least Wealthy Theatre injects some money into the economy, even though it's a 501c3. A non-profit theatre/event venue like Wealthy Theatre would do a lot more for Burton Heights than another church. 

 

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

40 on the curb for the Eastown Theater.  The church is like a dead zone in that neighborhood

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

20 minutes ago, GRDadof3 said:

:yahoo:This is terrific.  So glad the developer is looking to restore it!  Given what an effort Wealthy was, I'm sure this will be an arduous undertaking.

Never seen the inside before.  That stage is bizarre.

Edited by RegalTDP

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


That is great news. Hope he can make it work. Sounds like the stage may be from its 80s nightclub days. They said it used to have cages for the dancers. :)

Joe

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 minutes ago, joeDowntown said:

That is great news. Hope he can make it work. Sounds like the stage may be from its 80s nightclub days. They said it used to have cages for the dancers. :)

Joe

I've heard Grand Rapids natives talk about the shenanigans that used to go on at this place, but none of them could remember where it was located. Now I know.

Midget tossing, whips and chains, cage dancers, back room sex toys. :)  This and Carnival had quite the reputation apparently? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

We (Catholic Central) had part of our Senior all night party there in 1990. Do schools still do that?  It did have Circus theme from what I recall. :D  I don't recall the back room sex toys and midgets.

Edited by mpchicago

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, GRDadof3 said:

I've heard Grand Rapids natives talk about the shenanigans that used to go on at this place, but none of them could remember where it was located. Now I know.

Midget tossing, whips and chains, cage dancers, back room sex toys. :)  This and Carnival had quite the reputation apparently? 

Never went. I know that it was a really popular place that slowly slid into obscurity. I think when it was on the downhill slide is when all the crazy stuff started happening. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

4 hours ago, mpchicago said:

We (Catholic Central) had part of our Senior all night party there in 1990. Do schools still do that?  It did have Circus theme from what I recall. :D  I don't recall the back room sex toys and midgets.

CC does Corex now. Don't you read your alumni newsletters?:P

Edited by temporary.name

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, temporary.name said:

CC does Corex now. Don't you read your alumni newsletters?

All Night party end of the senior year, COREX beginning of the senior year, 2 different things

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, ctpgr34 said:

All Night party end of the senior year, COREX beginning of the senior year, 2 different things

Oh. True. My bad. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Went there multiple times when it was the nightclub. It was surreal; like Eastown Shout's brother who got in with the wrong crowd..

I remember TV8 doing a Live at 5 preview of the club before it opened, and the owner told the reporter that they had spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on lighting alone..

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

19 hours ago, RegalTDP said:

:yahoo:This is terrific.  So glad the developer is looking to restore it!  Given what an effort Wealthy was, I'm sure this will be an arduous undertaking.

Never seen the inside before.  That stage is bizarre.

If he's doing a real restoration he's got a huge task ahead of him.  There's barely anything left of the original theater (interior finishings, hardware, etc.)  Maybe that's a blessing and it will be easier to simply buy a new interior rather than rehabbing such old furnishings.  

Anybody know if there are pics online of what it looked like inside when it first opened?

Here's a nice gallery of old theaters from their heyday 

http://www.historygrandrapids.org/collection/4249/theatre-collection

Edited by scottythe1nonly
1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, scottythe1nonly said:

If he's doing a real restoration he's got a huge task ahead of him.  There's barely anything left of the original theater (interior finishings, hardware, etc.)  Maybe that's a blessing and it will be easier to simply buy a new interior rather than rehabbing such old furnishings.  

Anybody know if there are pics online of what it looked like inside when it first opened?

Here's a nice gallery of old theaters from their heyday 

http://www.historygrandrapids.org/collection/4249/theatre-collection

Wealthy Theatre was way worse when they started restoration, although Peter Wege had an unending bank account to put toward it, apparently. 

http://www.wegefoundation.com/tag/wealthy-street-theatre/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, GRDadof3 said:

Wealthy Theatre was way worse when they started restoration, although Peter Wege had an unending bank account to put toward it, apparently. 

http://www.wegefoundation.com/tag/wealthy-street-theatre/

He grew up in the area. So being frugal wasn't a motivator. Also turned the party store on the corner of wealthy and fuller into a bank. Anyone remember rolling up on that intersection in 1995?

Joe

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.