Restoration of the Bohm Theatre
For more than thirty years local arts groups tried to acquire the Bohm Theatre, but the project was cost prohibitive due to acquisition expenses combined with necessary renovations.
This facility changed ownership several times through various land contracts since the late 1990's, and, unfortunately, the owners tended to take their profits and leave, making little or no attempt to maintain the building. In November 2008, the theatre ceased operations altogether, and on March 31, 2010, the theatre tax reverted to Calhoun County, opening up the opportunity to acquire the building at a reasonable cost (less than $17,000).
The Friends of the Bohm Theatre was formed in 2010 as an advisory board to the Albion Community Foundation and the Albion Downtown Development Authority who agreed to take the leadership role in restoring the Bohm Theatre after the building tax reverted to the County. By September 2010 it was evident that there was enough community support to restore this historic landmark so the Friends of the Bohm Theatre incorporated as a Michigan nonprofit corporation.
In September 2011 the Friends of the Bohm Theatre acquired the building and began exterior restoration efforts. The Albion Community Foundation continued to have a leadership role in the project and agreed to provide financial management for the capital campaign, and use its 40 year history and track record to help leverage funds not typically available to start-up organizations. By October 2012 the Friends had received their 501(c)3 status, and began efforts to separate from the Foundation so that they could independently operate the Theater, once it was restored and reopened.
Initially the restoration of the Bohm was to take place in multiple phases, but financial support was so overwhelming that all interior renovations necessary to open the theatre for both film and live performances was undertaken. The Bohm opened to the public on October 16, 2014, three months ahead of the projected Christmas 2014 opening date—Christmas Day 2014 being the 85th anniversary of the original opening of this historic theatre.
Today's Bohm retains the look and feel of the original 1929 theater, but boasts a 21st century infrastructure that amazes visitors coming in to enjoy a film, live performance, workshop, or concert. To learn more about how this restoration was envisioned and evolved, watch the video on "Bringing Back the Bohm".
Bohm Theatre History & Memories
In the years since it first opened in 1929, the Bohm Theatre has acquired a lot of history and many memories. Read more …