For the last 90 years, the Frauenthal Theater has been the cornerstone of downtown Muskegon. The Frauenthal’s impact on the cultural and economic life of Muskegon has been felt from its early cinematic shows, “100% all talking motion pictures,” to today’s community events, graduations, weddings, and performances by the West Michigan Symphony, Muskegon Downtown Live Concert Series, Muskegon Civic Theatre, and more. Today, its impact continues to ripple through a diverse range of arts and entertainment experiences.
A regional asset, the Frauenthal Theater is now approaching 30 years since its renovation and is showing wear from steady use. The Community Foundation has identified more than $5 million in fundamental structural needs, renovation, and preservation that are critical to the theater’s future and use. This needed investment will enhance the experience of patrons and ensure its place in the community for future generations.
You can help ensure that the Frauenthal Theater’s next 90 years continue to inspire, enlighten, and educate our entire community.
To support the Frauenthal Preservation Campaign Fund, click here.
Thanks to the support of the Howmet Aerospace Foundation, Consumers Energy Foundation, the Grand Haven Area Community Foundation, and local donors, several improvements have already taken place:
- New, historically accurate windows not only reflect architect C. Howard Crane’s original intention and design, but they are also double-paned with a UV protective coating to help the facility save on energy costs. In total, we’ve replaced 102 windows throughout the facility.
- The HVAC system has also been replaced to improve air quality and includes its own hot water boiler, condenser unit, humidification, dehumidification, and filtration systems. The large air handler room, located above the stage area, had the original blower unit from the construction of the theater in 1929.
- The fire escapes that patrons, artists, and staff use to exit the facility in the event of a fire or emergency have been repaired and reinforced.
- The renovation of the marquee included fresh paint on the front and sides of the letter board. The underside soffit was sand blasted and power coated. All lighting was updated to LED, apart from the neon, which was also replicated. The two digital signs were upgraded to high resolution screens with the addition of video capabilities. The letter board glass was also replaced, as well as multiple electrical updates that were completed.
- All sidewalks were removed, starting from the Hilt building on Western Avenue and wrapping all the way around to the alley on 3rd street. In stages, a heated glycolic loop snow melting system was installed and new sidewalks were poured, preserving the stamped and colored concrete.
Planned improvements include an updated sound and video system, upgraded lighting equipment, and replacement of the stage.
Campaign Cabinet Members
Thank you to our Campaign Cabinet for their commitment to the Frauenthal Theater’s future.
Chuck and Vivian Johnson, Honorary Chairpersons
Amy Heisser and Asaline Scott, Campaign Co-Chairpersons
Maria Ladas Hoopes, Frauenthal Center Committee Chair
Marvin and Connie Nash
Dale and Connie Nesbary
Steve and Deb Olsen
Dr. F. Remington Sprague
John and Mary Swanson
Priscilla and Rick Wilcox
Tom and Jane Witt