Frauenthal Center for the Performing Arts
Visit www.frauenthal.org for information on upcoming events.
The Frauenthal Center for the Performing Arts, formerly known as the Michigan Theater, was built in 1929 by Muskegon’s own movie mogul, Paul Shlossman, under the direction of the famous theater architect C. Howard Crane. Built on the dreams of “talking motion pictures” – today it stands as the cultural center of Western Michigan Lakeshore.
With a colorful history of vaudeville acts and movie stars, its near demise in the early 1970’s was especially heart-wrenching. In 1976 the Community Foundation used a substantial estate gift from local industrialist A. Howard Frauenthal to save the majestic theater from the wrecking ball. Community support continued in 1995 when Muskegon County voters passed a $16 million bond issue to restore the theater to its original glory. Further renovations to the adjacent Hilt building resulted in the 170-seat Beardsley Theater, visual arts gallery, and numerous reception areas.
The Frauenthal Center for the Performing Arts today serves as the offices of the Community Foundation for Muskegon County and the home to the West Michigan Symphony Orchestra, Muskegon Civic Theatre and Muskegon Community Concert Association. The Foundation remains committed to the Frauenthal Center and its future development, annually providing grants of over $100,000 to support the operation of this Muskegon landmark.