As the copper mining industry was booming in the late 1800s, Calumet, Michigan residents and officials began to notice the rising need for entertainment venue options for residents. According to the Calumet Theatre website, in 1898 the village had a population of approximately 4000 residents with an additional 30,000 within walking distance of the village limits. To fill a need in the community, the theatre project was proposed and it opened its doors on March 20, 1900. The theatre has a long and colorful history of classic American stage productions, films, international troupes, and musical acts. The Calumet Theatre Company, incorporated in 1983, was established to facilitate incoming programs as well as to promote the historic restoration and preservation of the building. The combination of the theatre’s status as a National Historic Landmark as well as the 60-80 quality performances each year make this space a treasured addition to the community and a lasting legacy of the region’s past.
Despite the history of this grand theatre, in recent years the building has fallen victim to specific architectural ailments. The roof has deteriorated to a state of disrepair, with leaks damaging interior ceilings, walls, and insulation on the proscenium arch. Volunteers have made efforts to direct leaks away from the arch to prevent further damage. With the amount of annual snowfall frequently reaching hundreds of inches per winter as well as the amount of warmer weather rain, it is clear to see how melting snow or rainy days pose an inevitable threat to the structural integrity of this building. In an effort to gain support for the theatre someone has submitted a proposal to the Pepsi Refresh Project to help save this historic theatre. By voting every day until the end of December you can help The Calumet Theatre possibly receive a much-needed grant to secure funds to properly repair the roof and restore this theatre to a glorious and sound state. Please vote today and help a small community in the Copper Country save a treasured landmark.