In 1917, behind his clothing shop next door to the Orpheum, Wuerth built a second theater. Movie goers entered below the Wuerth's Main Street marquee (shown above in the 1940s) and passed through a two-story, skylit arcade that led to the theater. The L-shaped plan allowed the two theaters to share backstage space and a single theater organ. In early 1929 the Wuerth was the first local theater to convert from silent films to "talkies." While the Orpheum specialized in more high-toned productions, the smaller, cozier Wuerth showed children's serialized matinees and gave away china to attract viewers. After both theaters closed in 1957, the interior spaces were remodeled for new uses. By 1927 Wuerth's menswear business had become Fiegel's. It survived until 1997.
Frame location: Northeast corner wall, just east of Main on Liberty
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Article Keywords: Businesses, Clothing - Retail, Entertainment, Fiegel's Men's and Boy's Wear, Historical Buildings, Movie Theaters, Orpheum Theater, Recreation, Signs & Signage, Stores & Shops, Theaters, Wuerth's Theater
People: J. Frederick Wuerth
pictureAnnArbor: Downtown Movie Theaters, Site 2: The Main Street Shopping Experience, Downtown Ann Arbor Historical Street Exhibit Program
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Rights Held by: Ann Arbor District Library