Kalamazoo’s Uptown Theater – September 1, 1941

Uptown Theater, photo by John Todd

Uptown Theater, photo by John Todd

I found this photo via the revamped Michigan eLibrary. It’s from the John Todd Photographic Collection at the Portage District Library. The collection contains over thirteen-thousand negatives of Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo County communities and southwest Michigan taken from 1940 to 1981. It includes all manner of pictures including aerial photos of Kalamazoo and the surrounding area.

The description might give you an idea of the breadth of the collection and the degree to which it’s indexed. Go ahead, click…

Night view of the Uptown Theater located at 247 North Burdick Street in downtown Kalamazoo, Michigan with the camera looking towards the southwest. As of 2006 this theater has been demolished and replaced with the Kalamazoo Valley Public Museum. North Burdick Street in this block no longer functions as a roadway but has been converted into a pedestrian mall.
CATEGORY: Entertainment

4 thoughts on “Kalamazoo’s Uptown Theater – September 1, 1941

  1. More history of the place, from my memory: When I was a kid, it’s the theater which brought monster flix to Kalamazoo; it was pretty run-down by the fifties and not an entirely respectable place. The good movies went to the State (a fancy palace of a place, and still in use as a concert hall) or the Capitol (the town’s wide-screen theater). Obviously all of these places lost business as screens were installed at the malls.

    Round about 1970 the Uptown was converted to a gymnasium and hosted a boxing academy, I think.

    Gorgeous photo, by the way. Obviously from a better time than I recall.


  2. This is what a theater should look like. Too bad not enough foresight was practiced to keep the theater. It would have been great as the museum building.


  3. I’ve always been a sentimental sap but I guess I’m really getting older because I want to go back to my hometown memories. I was always so pleased to tell folks I was from Kalamazoo because it always got a reaction. Like another poster, I vividly recall the Uptown as a favorite hang-out when I was a kid in the 50’s and early 60’s. I loved the B&W monster B movies, followed by a burger at Kewpie’s (sp?) and I’m very grateful for this photo being posted.


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