|Years:||I am 32|
|My sexual orientation:||Hetero|
|What is my gender:||I am girl|
We have spent the better part of obtaining a collection of photographs chronicling the history of the State Wayne Theatre from the past seven decades. Since the theatre opening in December ofthe exterior has had few noticeable modifications, with the majority of the changes Wayne MI t date these guys inside to accommodate the changing trends that have occurred to the movie industry. What is striking is that throughout the decades the theatre itself has become one of the constants in the Wayne community.
An iconic building that everyone remembers as having always been there and always will be in Downtown Wayne. A place that invokes strong memories of first dates, trips to the movies with Grandparents, remembering when you first looked up and noticed the ever present dragon in the darkness of a Sunday matinee.
Now celebrating 70 years as a movie theatre, we felt it was very important to preserve the photographic history, and provide a place to share personal stories of visits to this important civic place for the residents of Wayne and the surrounding communities. Happy Anniversary - State-Wayne. Best Wishes, Cory A. Army was sent to New York City at the age of 26 to give "pep talks" from the leading stages of Broadway to promote the sales of war bonds.
It was in New York that Walter was first introduced to the world of theatres. When the war ended on November 11,Shafer was free to pursue a career and his contacts in the theatres paid off. While in Elizabeth he met a bank teller named Lillian Thiemer and soon after he proposed marriage and she became Mrs. Theatres in this era were offering a combination of live stage performances and silent films. The theatres were complicated and in some cases large operations with in-house orchestras, stagehands and a vast operational staff.
William Fox was expanding his theatre chain rapidly and in and Mr. Shafer and his wife Lillian were quickly transferred to St. Louis for his new position as Manager of the Fox Theatre there. In he was promoted and transferred once again to Detroit to the original Fox Theatre, located on Washington Boulevard as Managing Director. In he helped direct the building of the new Fox Theatre on Woodward Avenue. Then came the Depression of and hit everywhere and by he was forced to close eight theatres due to "a lack of business. Shafer negotiated with the owner of the Wayne Theatre building to lease the closed theatre.
In calamity struck the world in a way that no one had could have possibly considered. For the Shafer family it changed the course of their lives in ways no one could have anticipated.
The family lost their home in Grosse Point and was forced to move to a log house his two children described as the "death house" in Wayne. The house was said to have a large hole in the splintered floor to heat the 2nd floor. He was dead broke. The Wayne theatre operation became a family duty as Mrs. Shafer ran the concession stand and his children Mark was 10 and Charles was 8 worked as the theatre janitors. That was when Walter had the brilliant idea of introducing cent night for everyone.
The price had been 20 cents for adults and 10 cents for children. He offered a popular western, cartoon and newsreel for a complete evening of entertainment four days a week with the theatre remaining closed the other three. Business built steadily as his pricing strategy and the economy began to improve and by the Shafer Wayne Theatre was drawing up to 2, customers a night.
By times were much better and Shafer was growing his business and building a new "ultra-modernistic" Shafer Theatre in Garden City near the corner of Ford Road near Middlebelt.
InShafer started construction on the new State Theatre in Wayne and ran it in conjunction with the Schafer Wayne until when the Wayne Theatre was closed. It was the first in the area and an instant success and was followed in with the opening of the Algiers Drive-In at Wayne Road and Warren Ro. Shafer stated at the time of his retirement in that the highlight of his long career was seeing his first "talkie.
Wayne county lightfest
His career in the motion picture theatre business spanned nearly 40 years and saw a one-time public stenographer manage leading theatres from New York to St. Louis to Detroit and finally Wayne, where he built a miniature theatre empire in his own community. The company that he started in Wayne continued to grow and thrive following his retirement by his two sons Charles and Martin to become one of the legendary family motion picture theatre chains in the Detroit community.
Clicking on each period will expand to a summary of details. Walter Schafer purchased the property in and began the task of filling in the land where the theatre was eventually going to be built.
Plans were proposed for the originally named "Annex Theatre," as Walter Shafer owned the Wayne Theatre, which was located directly east of the property. The theatre de was to feature a modernistic Deco style and feature the latest in cinema features. Civilian construction projects had been delayed during the war to provide steel and other necessary building materials for the war effort.
The theatre boasted the latest in modern cinema amenities including 1, seats and a special baby crying room adjacent to the upper Ladies restroom where Mothers could take restless children to enjoy the show without disturbing other audience members. At the age of 69, theatre exhibition pioneer Walter Shafer retires after nearly 40 years in the theatre industry and the State Theatre and Wayne Amusements operations are passed on to his sons, Charles and Martin.
The Shafer brothers completely renovate the State Theatre with an new oriental theme, creating a new lobby, foyer and snack bar concession stand. The now famous dragons were first seen on the auditorium walls created by Anton Mom, an artist from Holland.
Remodeling the theatre proved to be a big job for the contractors in view of tight schedules maintained. Work went on at an 8 hour daily schedule so that the community would not be deprived of entertainment. The introduction of videotapes and cable outlets such as HBO caused a glut of new film product, as film production was a very good investment due to the growing opportunities to earn revenue.
Recognizing the evolving movie industry and the need to take advantage of the added product available, the Schafer brothers split the single screen into two auditoriums. This also doubled the chance that the film the public was interested in seeing was showing at the State Theatre.
The obvious downside was the theatre was deed as a single screen auditorium and the overall room dimensions when split in half reduced the picture size and created long narrow rooms with poor sight lines. At the time, the exhibition industry generally turned to quantity of films and not the presentation quality. The sale included several of the properties including the Quo Vadis and Michigan later to become Showcase Dearborn.
The State theatre was operating as a discount theatre byand National Amusements' business focus was on first-run multi-screen facilities and drive-ins. This included Wayne MI t date these guys deed restriction prohibiting the showing of first run films used as a tactic in many National Amusements sale agreements to prevent competitive use.
The deed restriction prohibiting the showing of first run films was a condition of the sale. Plans were drawn up to divide the theatre into three auditoriums, renovate the lobby, redevelop the former Barber Shop into new restrooms on the main floor and add a stage area for live performances. It was determined that a forth auditorium could be added and the addition and live stage were opened on November 20, On the side of the State Wayne Theatre there is a hand painted mural. The dark brick bands of the building are thought of a roadway presenting a transportation timeline history of Wayne. The mural is big, covering the majority of the east wall of the State-Wayne Theatre.
In the photo above, the top sections of the mural, on the left and right sides, are not shown in their entirety. The mural panels are painted in shades of the brick building color to create the illusion that they are ornamental carvings used in art-deco architecture. The Wayne History Mural is the result of the hard work and dedication of many, including the Wayne City Council, the Downtown Development Authority, the Committee and many friends. The idea of creating public art was developed during Michigan Gov. From that initiative, City Council formed the Committee.
After, many discussions and meetings, the committee recommended to City Council that a Wayne History Mural should be painted on the east wall of the State-Wayne Theater. Council approved and the mural was created. The theater was purchased by the City in and completely renovated and made into a multiplex theatre with four auditoriums.
The building also boasts a stage for live theater. The mural was dedicated on October 16, and re-dedicated on October 28, following the completion of additional panels.
In the summer ofthe film industry was in the middle of a major shift in technology as millimeter film was quickly being replaced by digital presentations. The City of Wayne realized that they needed to take steps to make the transition to digital cinema or risk causing the theatre to become completely obsolete. Wayne City Manager, Robert English had met Phoenix owner Cory Jacobson and an agreement was subsequently reached to manage the theatre and coordinate the necessary improvements to digital cinema.
On August 1, Phoenix began over 90 days of work to make the digital conversion and cosmetically freshen up the interior and building.
The State-Wayne officially became part of the Michigan based Phoenix Theatres chain and entered the digital era on November 17, with a rededication on a sunny Saturday morning with the Mayor Al Hadious cutting the "ribbon of film" as Wayne City officials and citizens attended. By March ofPhoenix had converted their Monroe theatre location to a new style of luxury reclining seating to great success and increased attendance. As city finances were declining, a need to focus tax resources on critical city services became highly necessary. Subsequently, an agreement was struck between Phoenix and the City of Wayne to purchase the theatre.
Ownership of the property allowed Phoenix to reinvest in the theatre and bring the popular reclining seats to State-Wayne.
In addition to new seating, three of the screens were replaced with wider wall-to-wall pictures, greatly improving the overall presentation. In November of the renovations were completed and with the new amenity of percent reclining luxury seating the theatre has enjoyed some of the largest percentage increases in box-office business in the Detroit market, with total annual attendance toppingguests for the first time in decades.
Now returning to stable profitability, employing a family of over 18 people, providing a state-of-the-art digital film presentation that we can be truly proud of, the State Wayne has a bright future to continue providing entertainment to Wayne and the surrounding communities for decades to come. Without the love from the community, the State Wayne Theatre would not be continuing its legacy after 70 years. Submit your photos from the State Wayne Theatre to our gallery to share them with the collection of photo's from Wayne's beloved theatre.
Your Photo has been successfully ed, once it is approved it will be added to the gallery above. Remember when you were young?
Let's go back to your first time ever seeing a movie on the big screen, or maybe spending the day with your grandparents at the theatre. These moments are ones not easily forgotten, but rather cherished. Let's reminisce, what's your favorite childhood memory from The State Wayne Theatre?
Almost everyone has gone on a date to the movies at least once. It could be a first date, last date, or an evening that le up finding your life-long partner.