Originally known as the Michigan Theater, the Frauenthal Center was built in 1929 by Muskegon’s movie mogul, Paul Shlossman, under the direction of famous theater architect, C. Howard Crane. The architectural styling of the theater is Moorish, or Spanish renaissance, and gleams with extraordinary gold accents, cherubs and griffins.
Built as a theater for “100% all talking motion pictures,” the theater built up a rich history as a glamorous entertainment destination, but by 1976 the wrecking ball loomed on the horizon. Fortunately, a large estate gift from local industrialist A. Harold Frauenthal allowed us to save the wonderful site, and the show went on. In 1995, Muskegon County voters passed a $16 million bond issue to restore the theater to its original glory. The 170-seat Beardsley Theater, a visual arts gallery and multiple reception areas were added during further renovations to the adjacent Hilt building.
Today, the historic Frauenthal Center is home to the West Michigan Symphony Orchestra, Muskegon Civic Theatre, and Muskegon Community Concert Association, as well as traveling road companies, concerts, and countless community events while also serving as the office for the Community Foundation for Muskegon County. The diverse facility hosts a number of conferences, meetings, trade shows, receptions and much more. To learn more about the Frauenthal Center, visit their website at www.frauenthal.org.
Our commitment to the Frauenthal Center and its continued development includes providing over $100,000 in annual grants as a community investment to support this important landmark.