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After 30 years in the dark, Muskegon Heights' Strand Theater will soon turn the lights back on

Daniel Boothe, Muskegon Heights Historical Society, File Photo
Strand Theater in its glory days (above) and what it looks like today (below)

Restoring iconic movie house part of city officials plan to overhaul downtown cooridor

As part of an effort to re-vitalize Muskegon Heights downtown corridor, officials will soon begin the restoration of the Strand Theater on Broadway Avenue.

Officials say, the Strand Theater in downtown Muskegon Heights is woven into the city’s historical fabric, while its revitalization is a key part of a comprehensive plan to restore Broadway Avenue, a once bustling strip of shops and restaurants that now sits mostly empty in 2022.

Built in 1923, officials say the Strand Theater has been vacant for over 30 years after shutting down in 1990. The building and cinema inside however, are still structurally intact, and officials are intent on restoring the movie house back to its former glory.

It’s all part of a bigger plan that city officials have dubbed “Reaching New Muskegon Heights” a multi-faceted effort that includes a reimagined Rowan Park, the construction of 35 new homes nearby, and the return of shopping and dining along the city’s main strip.

Troy Bell is Muskegon Heights City Manager. He says he wants residents to dream big when they think of what could be…

“Our ability to bring back, to re-pave, to do new facades, to reconstruct, to do a new streetscape, to turn the downtown streetlights on that have been off for 15-20 years, is a way of bringing back the heartbeat of the community.”

So far, the city says it has raised $20 million through grants and private donations to support the effort. Most recently, the Consumers Energy Foundation awarded $250,000 to the city in support of the revitalization of Rowan Park.

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