Kalamazoo State Theatre Finally Recognized as Historic Landmark
Here's what community leaders are saying about the iconic Kalamazoo State Theatre being given its well-deserved spot on the National Register of Historic Places.
Now, it's official. Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer shared the news that we've known for years. The Kalamazoo State Theatre is truly historic. The venerable Kalamazoo landmark now has a place on the National Register of Historic Places.
Kalamazoo Historic Preservation Coordinator Sharon Ferraro was one of the first to offer congratulations. “The State Theater is dear to our hearts and holds fond memories for all of its guests, whether they visited it only once or a hundred times. We are excited to see the State join Chenery and the Civic to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places where it belongs. Congratulations!”
Opened in 1927 to accommodate both live performances and motion pictures, the Kalamazoo State Theatre has been in operation ever since, connecting artists and fans for more than 90 years. So, what took so long? A property only has to be 50 years old to be considered for the National Registry, and officially, Kalamazoo State Theatre has been eligible for quite some time. When the Hinman Company purchased the aged structure in 1985, major renovations were contracted. Earlier this Fall the company asked for the historic designation and it has now been granted.
Local, regional, and state community leaders shared their congratulations and words about what the theatre has meant to the city of Kalamazoo over the years. Governor Whitmer noted the State is "one of the few theaters of its kind in Michigan. The new designation makes the case for the significance of the theatre’s past, and also its future, as a source of entertainment for theater lovers, history buffs, and tourists for years to come." Democrats and Republicans were united in their praise for the historic classification of the iconic theatre.
The State Theater is an iconic pillar of Kalamazoo’s downtown district and vibrant arts culture. I am delighted that it will be preserved as a national historic landmark for future generations to enjoy.
-Sen. Sean McCann, Kalamazoo
I am overjoyed that the State Historic Preservation Office has announced that the Kalamazoo State Theatre will be named to the National Register of Historic Places. Since attending my first concert at the State Theatre with my father as a young girl, I have marveled at the magic of this special building. Its starry night sky and glowing lanterns have lit many special performing arts events and it is truly a treasured gem in the Kalamazoo community.
-State Representative Julie M. Rogers, Kalamazoo
State leaders took time to recognize this accomplishemnt.
The Kalamazoo State Theatre has been an important part of Kalamazoo’s history for some 94 years featuring some of the best musicians, singers, comedians, and entertainers in Michigan and throughout the country. This treasured theatre really does take folks back in time, with its brick walls and illuminated entrance, as they enjoy the hundreds of shows that come to the theatre annually. I send my heartfelt congratulations to the Kalamazoo State Theatre, its curators, and the entire Kalamazoo community on this well-deserved honor to be listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
-U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, St. Joseph
The stewards of Kalamazoo State Theatre are, of course thrilled, yet recognize what this means.
Once it sinks in that there are more than 90 years of memories in this space, so does the realization that it is a great responsibility and opportunity to do what we can to keep the legacy in motion. Through our mission, to preserve this historic building by providing diverse programming that is relevant to our community, we hope to assist in creating more memorable experiences for years to come.
-Stephanie Hinman, executive director of the Kalamazoo State Theatre
Kalamazoo State Theatre: making history and making memories since 1927.