THS’s first stop of the day was the Ionia Theatre in Ionia, MI. The theatre was built in 1931 and art deco paintings can be found on the large chandelier and ceiling medallion, lobby murals, original wood furnishings, and side lights. All of these are original to the construction.
The theatre’s owners, the Butterfield Family, made the difficult decision to close the theatre. It remained closed for several years. In 1984 the community of Ionia identified this historic theatre as a top item for restoration to prepare Ionia for the 21st Century. The Ionia Theatre is currently operated and managed by the Ionia Downtown Development Authority and the City of Ionia with a senior manager, manager, and two part-time staff. Regularly scheduled volunteers assist with concession and ticketing for movies and live performances as well as regular cleaning of the theatre.