Historical Albion Michigan
By Frank Passic

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Any photos not otherwise credited are from the personal collection of Frank Passic, Albion Historian.

ALBION THEATRE

Morning Star, April 3, 2011, pg. 10

So Albion now has an official population of 8,616 persons, down from 9,144 according to the just-released U.S. 2010 Census results. Not bad, all things considered. The 5.8% loss of just 528 residents is remarkably similar to the number of persons who lost their jobs when Harvard Industries closed in 2002. We had a diligent crew of Census enumerators in the Albion area who did their very best to make sure everyone was counted, and they did their job well.

With all of the interest in restoring the Bohm Theatre taking place, did you know that Albion once had another theater for many years? The Albion Theatre opened on March 26, 1936 at 416 S. Superior St. in the Thompson Block. This is the last business block on the west side of S. Superior St. The theater was originally owned by the Interstate Theatre Corporation and seated 500 persons. It was managed by O.J. Lambioette,

Not wanting any competition for his Bohm Theatre down the street, Albionís "movie king," George Bohm was able to purchase the Thompson building. It is rumored that he had the gas shut off, thus freezing out his renting competition. He then took over the theater himself in 1939.

The Albion Theatre ran westerns, while the Bohm Theatre ran "first run" movies. George Bohm ran both theatres concurrently. Upon his death in 1951, the theaters passed to his brother Albert, and his nephews Jack and George Ryser. Albert remained active with the theaters until 1955. During the summer months, the Rysers would close the Albion Theatre when their Albion Drive-In east of town was in operation. The Albion Theatre would operate for the rest of the year.

The advent of television in the 1950s cut down on movie attendance, and subsequently the Albion Theatre was closed for good in 1959. During the 1960s the old theatre site became the home to our local Spiegel Catalog Sales.

From our Historical Notebook this week we present a December, 1954 photo of the Albion Theatre. How many of our readers remember the Albion Theatre?


The Albion Theatre in December of 1954

Next: GEORGE BENNARD MUSIC COMPANY


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