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This is a must do.The historic Howmet Playhouse in Whitehall, MI is a true gem in West Michigan. Built in 1916 as part of the “little theater” movement of the early 1900's by local residents, the Playhouse is older than the famous Frauenthal Center for the Performing Arts (formerly the Michigan Theater) in downtown Muskegon by 13 years. Based on the architecture of the LaSalle Theater in Chicago, fundraising efforts were lead by playwright, author, and lyricist Frank Ramsey Adams (lyricist of the popular song "Guess Who's Kissing Her Now") and the construction of the theater was lead by local builder James Nufer.“The Grand Old Lady” as she is affectionately called by locals, still features several special architectural features-- a curved cyclorama (back wall of the stage), still made of the original plaster and lathe (one of the last theaters in the country to still have one), a manual hemp and sandbag rigging system, and original steam radiators that were used to heat the theater until April 2011. The theater has been in continual operation since she opened in 1916, and is still the jewel of White Lake, busy almost every single weekend of the year with music, film, community events, youth theater performances and professional theater performances. Tickets are affordable and she is supported completely through ticket and rental revenue, grants, and the generosity of individual donors. One of the most special aspects of the theater is that her history spans many generations—many couples tell stories of kissing in the balcony when they bring their grandchildren or great-grandchildren to the theater for a show. There must be something in the air—in the last two years she has hosted a marriage proposal and a wedding. You don't want to miss the chance to experience this special place—she will stay with you forever.
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