Visit the Historic Downtown Manistee Theaters!

by Amy Kirkpatrick

Hey Chicago! Looking for something great to do for a weekend? Manistee, Michigan is only an hour away by air!

Manistee, Michigan is a wonderful place to spend a weekend away from the city. Arts, culture and relaxation abound in area surrounding Manistee County Blacker Airport. If you are interested in historical architecture, particularly relating to a Chicago architect at the turn of the last century, then a good place to start is the Ramsdell Theater located two blocks off River Street in downtown Manistee.


Ramsdell Theater

The Ramsdell Theater, listed in the National Register of Historic Places, was built from 1901-1903 by local lawyer and philanthropist, Thomas Jefferson Ramsdell. The theater and grand ballroom were designed by the renowned Chicago architect, Solon Spencer Beman. Also designed by Beman are such buildings as the beautiful Hotel Florence located in Chicago’s historic “Pullman District”.

On September 4th, the Ramsdell Theatre opened to a standing-room-only audience to view the acclaimed production of “A Chinese Honeymoon” by the traveling New York Casino Company. It opened to rave reviews and began the 87-year history of community operations and usage that has survived both world wars, the decline and rebirth of an historical downtown and the advent of home videos. This facility is a community-oriented operation which presents live stage productions of musicals and plays but is also home to workshops, art exhibits, music concerts weddings and other community events like the Manistee Chamber Festival of Trees.


For more information on shows, pricing and location please contact:

The 101 Maple Street
Manistee, MI 49660
(231) 398-9770
Ramsdell Theater

The Vogue Theater

If “Moving Pictures” are more your thing, stop in at The Vogue Theater! Another example of historical architecture that will take you back to the 1930’s Art Deco era…

The Vogue Theater was built in 1938 and operated regularly, showing movies, until 2005 when it closed permanently (they thought). The theater was received by a non-profit organization in 2011 and rehabilitation began in 2012.

Since completion, The Vogue has been operating as a non-profit organization showing some great older pictures as well as some first run features.

For more information on shows, pricing and location please visit the Vogue Theater Website.