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Source: Michigans Historic Sites Online
The EJAY Theatre, located in Crystal Falls, is a two-story, red brick, commercial style, limestone-trimmed building topped by a limestone-tipped gabled parapets. Square limestone-tipped brick pilasters flank a second-story semi-round arch, and is surmounted by a second story limestone beltcourse frieze. A first story marquee, a white-painted wooden theatre entrance and the shingled first-story alterations date from the 1950s. The theatre interior, decorated in Art Deco murals, contains an auditorium and a balcony, walls decorated with 1920s Art Deco murals, and has a seating capacity of 820.
Statement of Significance The EJAY Theatre is the lone surviving cinema of one half dozen theatres in Crystal Falls built in the heyday of the 1920s. Emmet Markly of Manistique won the building contract. William Wuertz, a theatre decorator from Milwaukee, executed the Art Deco style murals. It is also the second oldest assembly hall in the City of Crystal Falls. On May 30, 1927, the EJAY Theatre opened with pomp and flourish, featuring a newsreel on Lindberghs recent Paris flight, a roaring comedy and the motion picture "Senorita" with Beebe Daniels. The EJAY Theatre ran its last picture show in 1980, and is currently vacant.
This theater is now named Crystal Theatre and is a live performing facility. Originally built in 1927, it was built to replace the opera house, named Gem Theatre, that was down the street. The Gem theatre burned several years earlier. It was built as a live performing center with movie capabilities. It housed 1 screen, a decent sized stage, an orchestra pit, two Simplex E-7 movie projectors (which are still located in the projection booth) and a Wurlitzer 2/7 organ.
With the demand of movies rising, the theater was converted into a full time movie house in the late 1920’s. With the invention of movies with sound, the Wurlitzer organ was sold by the city. The theater continued to show movies until about the 1980’s. The theatre changed names several times, first it was the Ejay Theatre, (the original seats in the balcony still say EJ on the sides of them), then the Delft theatre, then the Aldo theatre, which closed its doors in the 1980’s.
In 1992, a group of dedicated volunteers came in and renovated/restored the theater into a live performing facility seating about 600 people. Crystal Theatre is a 401 C non profit organization which is governed by an 8 member board of directors serving this community and surrounding communities. The theater has hosted a variety of events, including The National Shakespeare Company, the Michigan Chamber Brass, and also is the home to the Forest Park High School Drama Club.
Today, since the original Wurlitzer organ was sold, a Moeller 3/21 theater pipe organ was bought and restored and is the focal point of the theater. This theater features a wide variety of organists including Dave Wickerham. This theater still keeps its original integrity with art-deco wall murals which are original to the theater. AKA Aldo Theatre, Bijou Theatre, Ejay Theatre, Delft [Cinema Treasures tyman2006]