NOTE: The Lovell Street entrance to the Central Library parking lot will be closed periodically due to construction. The Rose Street (west) entrance will remain open.

Downtown Kalamazoo Theatres

Academy of Music (1882-1930)

East side of South Rose Street, across from Academy Street.

Built and run as a legitimate theatre from 8 May 1882 to 4 June 1919, then as a vaudeville and film house (renamed Regent) for several years after 31 August 1919. Theatre destroyed by fire on 11 June 1930.

academy-of-music-exterior1883-598.jpg

Academy of Music, ca. 1880s
History Room Photograph File P-331

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Had both a balcony and a gallery
Illustration ©1995 by J. P. Jenks

 academy-of-music-1886-598.jpg

Academy of Music Orchestra (foreground), 1st May 1886. George B. Balcom, director.
History Room Photograph File P-177

Academy of Music Orchestra Leaders

  • 1882 (May - October): William S. Bronson (resigned October 1882)
  • 1882–1883: Stanley B. Morse
  • 1883-1884: Stanley B. Morse
  • 1884-1885: Stanley B. Morse
  • 1885-1886: George B. Balcom, violin, director
  • 1886-1887: George B. Balcom (resigned March 1887)
  • 1887-1888: Max Faltkenhaus (of St. Louis)
  • 1888-1889:
  • 1889-1890: George B. Newell
  • 1890-1891: George B. Newell
  • 1891-1892: Eugene C. McElhany
  • 1892-1893: Eugene C. McElhany
  • 1893-1894: Eugene C. McElhany
  • 1894-1895: Eugene C. McElhany
  • 1895-1896: Eugene C. McElhany
  • 1896-1897: Eugene C. McElhany
  • 1897-1898: Eugene C. McElhany
  • 1898-1899: Eugene C. McElhany
  • 1899-1900: Eugene C. McElhany
  • 1900-1901: Eugene C. McElhany
  • 1901-1902: Eugene C. McElhany
  • 1902-1903: Eugene C. McElhany
  • 1903-1904: Eugene C. McElhany
  • 1904-1905: George B. Newell
  • 1905-1906: George B. Newell
  • 1906-1907: George B. Newell
  • 1907-1908: George B. Newell
  • 1908-1909: George B. Newell
  • 1909-1910: George B. Newell

Academy of Music Orchestra Membership

Acacemy of Music Orchestra 1883

  • Prof. S. B. Morse, piano, director
  • Prof. Martin of Battle Creek, first violin
  • John Lounsbury, second violin
  • Charles A. Skinkle, cornet
  • Chester Z. Bronson, clarionette
  • Frank Holton, trombone
  • John H. Everard, double bass
  • (Kalamazoo Telegraph 21 April 1883)

Academy of Music Orchestra 1891

  • Chester Z. Bronson, clarinet, business manager
  • Eugene C. McElhany, violin, conductor
  • Sam Born, alto horn, treasurer
  • Wallace S. White, alto horn, booking
  • George Pfeiffer, violin, prompter
  • Fred Shoecraft, cornet
  • Fred W. Davis, cornet
  • John Leak, tenor horn
  • Hiram W. “Hi” Ballou, trombone
  • J. F. Warner
  • Fred C. Hayes
  • Frank Newell, bass

Academy of Music Orchestra 1905

  • Charles Wolff, leader
  • Fred Curtis
  • John Vlieken
  • Miss Anna Walton
  • Sam Strong (of South Haven)
  • Chas. Parrent (of Lansing)

Academy of Music Orchestra 1909 

  • George B. Newell, leader
  • Hazel Belle Newell, piano
  • Frank Newell, trombone
  • Reyfsnyder, cornet
  • Earl Putnam, clarinet
  • Patrick McKee, drums
  • Thomas Walton, bass
  • Otto Schultz, flute
  • (Kalamazoo Gazette 26 Aug 1909)

Downtown Kalamazoo Theaters: map and index