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Tag Archive | "Kent Theatre"

Kent Theatre to hold over “Frozen”

It was literally an outstanding crowd that came to see the children’s movie “Frozen” at the Kent Theatre over the weekend. “Out standing” is what they were doing—lined up in the cold, waiting to get in. And some were still turned away.

It’s the first movie sell-out the Kent Theatre has had since began showing movies again several years ago. “It was amazing,” remarked Len Allington, president of the Cedar Springs Theatre Association. He noted that it was a sell out weekend—more than 1,400 people saw 8 showings of “Frozen,” which had three showings Friday and Saturday, and two on Sunday.

To accommodate those people who did not get a chance to see the movie but tried to, they are holding it over for this Friday. It will show at 6 and 9 p.m.

On Saturday and Sunday, they will show “The Book Thief,” a film set in Germany during World War II. It is rated PG-13.

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Year in Review: Robberies plague city

Rite Aid was robbed on Friday, September 13.

Rite Aid was robbed on Friday, September 13.

Last year (2012) closed with a rash of robberies, and several more occurred in 2013.

It was just a year ago, on December 29, 2012, that the Kent Theatre was robbed during the 9 p.m. showing of a “Life of Pi.” Cedar Springs Police said that a man in a puffy gray jacket with a stocking cap pulled down over his face walked into the Kent Theatre about 10 p.m. and demanded money, while implying a weapon. He got an undisclosed amount of cash from the concession stand and grabbed the donation can before fleeing on foot. Dogs tracked the suspect to a house on First Street, and then back to the road, where they lost the scent. He has never been found.

The Kent Theatre robbery was the second in a string of robberies. The Admiral gas station had been robbed the week before, on December 22. The third robbery occurred on December 31, New Year’s Eve, at Family Video, at the corner of Main and Muskegon Streets, around 9:50 p.m. The man was described as having dark hair and dark clothing, about 30 years old. He walked around the store for about 20 minutes without a mask waiting for others to leave then pulled a stocking cap down over his face with eye holes cut out and approached the counter. He showed the clerks a 5 or 6-inch hunting knife and demanded money. He then walked away to the west, towards Second St. Dogs tracked him Second Street to Beech before losing the scent.

The robberies continued in 2014, with three more businesses being robbed: the Instant Cash Advance store on July 24, the Admiral gas station on August 17, and Rite Aid on Friday, September 13.

According to police, a tall black male entered the Instant Cash Advance Store at 151 S. Main Street and demanded money while showing a gun. After collecting the cash, he fled on foot. He was wearing a plastic mask, similar to one used in robberies in the city of Wyoming. Wyoming Police and the FBI subsequently arrested a man for bank robbery and robberies of other Cash Advance Stores, and they believe he may be tied to this one as well.

On August 17, a man entered the Admiral gas station about 12:40 a.m. with something in his hand and demanded money, and then fled on foot. A K-9 unit tracked  him a short distance to the area of Beech and First Street, and then lost the scent. The suspect did not wear a mask or try to cover his face. He was described as a white male in his twenties, 5 feet 9 inches and around 190 pounds. He had side burns and a pierced tongue. He wore a navy blue baseball style cap, blue shirt, and black shorts with a white stripe down the side.

_N-Robbery-rite-aid-suspectOn September 13, a man walked into the Rite Aid on 17 Mile in Cedar Springs about 4 p.m. and robbed the store at gunpoint. According to the police dispatch, he reportedly told the clerk he had killed two people, and would kill another.

A witness was standing at the counter waiting for the clerk, and saw the two ladies standing with the suspect and putting something in a yellow bag. He thought they were helping a customer. He said that the suspect then ran out, and the clerk said they had been robbed.

The witness then ran out and told his adult son, who was waiting for him in the car. The son then chased after the suspect, who ran west to the back of Subway, then south behind the strip mall and into the woods. But the man lost him at that point. “I didn’t see which way he went when he got to the woods,” he explained.

Both the witness and his son were upset about the robbery. “If I’d known sooner what was happening, I would’ve hit him in the throat so hard,” remarked the witness, who was a former police officer and security guard.

Several other police agencies helped Cedar Springs Police in the search for the suspect. Roadblocks were set up on White Creek Avenue by the Kent County Sheriff Department, and a Michigan State Police canine unit was called in, but the dog lost the scent and the suspect was not captured.

According to a witness, the suspect was about 5-foot four-inches, with a dark (tanned) face, sunglasses, black hair or wig, black hoodie, and light-colored jeans. Possibly in his mid-twenties.

Anyone with information on any of these robberies is asked to call the Cedar Springs Police at 696-1311, or contact Silent Observer at (616) 774-2345. Silent Observer can be contacted confidentially by using the Report A Crime section on their website, which is www.silentobserver.org. Or, download their mobile app and send an anonymous tip right from your smartphone.



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Year in Review: Kent Theatre and Library make headlines

Fox 17 Meteorologist Kevin Craig does the weather from Cedar Springs. Post photo by J. Reed.

Fox 17 Meteorologist Kevin Craig does the weather from Cedar Springs. Post photo by J. Reed.

The Kent Theatre, Cedar Springs Public Library, and area residents received some positive publicity from a local television station in February last year.

Fox 17 meteorologist Kevin Craig did a story on Cedar Springs for the channel’s West Michigan Stories segment. He did the interviews a month prior to airing, and then did live teasers from The Kent Theatre during the news segment. He started out by doing the weather outside of the Kent, and then talked to people inside before each segment.

Craig called Cedar Springs “the epitome of giving” for the way the residents pulled together to raise $50,000 towards the new library, as well as funding the $60,000 for the digital projector at the Kent Theatre. He also talked about the donations that were raised for Veterans Park. Librarian Donna Clark talked about the library in the segment, and both Len Allington and Jack Clark were interviewed about the Theatre.

The Red Flannel Festival Queen and Court and Cindy Patin were interviewed for a segment on the Festival.

A few dozen people showed up at the Kent for the live segment, despite the snow. The Kent handed out free popcorn, and the Red Flannel Festival gave away t-shirts and buttons.


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Christmas in the Cry Room

Are you searching for a unique venue to gather with friends? Look no further—the Kent Theatre’s Cry Room is now available. It was just the ticket recently when five friends enjoyed a casual dinner and movie as part of their annual holiday celebration.

Pat Capek, Donna Clark, Jan Hammersmith and Anna Witters arrived at Claudia Mabie’s home for an evening of festive fun. They were met at the door with a flashing Christmas light necklace and a toast to the season. Just as they were settling in, Claudia said “get your coats, we’re leaving.” Amid protests and confusion all the ladies got into Claudia’s car for the short drive to the Kent Theatre in downtown Cedar Springs.

The brightly lit marquee welcomed the ladies. As they entered the lobby, they took in the inviting aroma of freshly popped corn from the original 1940’s popcorn machine. Ticket collector Sally Grayvold directed them to the inner lobby where four very surprised ladies were ushered up the stairs and into the Cry Room. A few hours earlier, Claudia had set up snacks and a light dinner for everyone to enjoy as they watched the movie in their private soundproof room.

The Kent Theatre was built in 1880 and was known as the Hubbard Opera House.  It served area residents for several years while being used for dances, community dinners and school graduations. It remained an entertainment hub as late as the 1920’s while welcoming vaudeville acts and traveling theatre productions. In 1922 it became known as the Emprise Theatre and showed silent movies. In 1932 it was purchased by Morris Frank who renamed it the Kent Theatre. It’s believed that the Cry Room was built around this time to provide a place for parents to take fussy children while still being able to enjoy their movie. In 1962 Mr. Frank sold the theatre to John and Charlotte Rogalewski. Many of today’s area residents reminisce about the 15 years the Rogalewski’s operated the Kent and the great movies they enjoyed while growing up in the community. In 1997 the Cedar Springs Theatre Association rallied to bring the building back into use as a center for films and live theatre. The newly renovated Cry Room is the latest in a long list of improvements the volunteers have donated to our community. If you’d like to rent the Cry Room—or the entire theatre—please contact Len Allington at events@kenttheatre.com. If you’d like to become a theatre volunteer, Len’s always looking for friendly, dependable workers!

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Holiday Happenings 2013



Red Flannel Christmas – Come Mingle with Kris Kringle

Dec. 7: Come celebrate the kick off to the Christmas season with a Red Flannel Town Christmas, presented by the Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce.  Creative Technologies Academy will have an arts and crafts fair from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; local businesses will be open and running specials beginning at 10 a.m.; and the Cedar Springs Historical Museum will do Christmas crafts from noon to 3 p.m. New this year is the Red Flannel Town Christmas Parade, with registration at 4:30 p.m., and parade at 5 p.m. Following the parade will be a live nativity scene, tree lighting, caroling, and mingling with Kris Kringle at the corner of Main Street and Ash. Bring the whole family out for a fun, old-fashioned, red flannel town Christmas celebration.

Second annual Christmas concert at the Kent

Dec. 14: The Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce will be hosting a Christmas Concert at the Kent Theatre on Saturday, December 14, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. The Cedar View Choir will perform this year, along with some performers from last year and more. Bring the family and have some fun. Admission is $5, and free for kids under age 5.

Make a gingerbread house

Dec. 14: Calling all Kids to decorate a Gingerbread House at the Cedar Springs Public Library. Sign up for one of three sessions: 10 a.m., 11 a.m., or 12 p.m. All ages welcome, preschoolers must have parent present. Stop by the library to register or call 616-696-1910.

Christmas Dance Extravaganza at the Kent

Dec. 15: The Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce will host a Christmas Dance Extravaganza at the Kent on Sunday, December 15, from 3 to 5 p.m. They have a variety of dance styles lined up to perform. Bring out the family and have some fun. Tickets are $10, and free for those under age 5.


Hometown Christmas

Dec. 6: Come and celebrate “A Hometown Christmas” in beautiful Historic, downtown Greenville. It’s so much more than just a parade. Events start with a Santa park party from 4 to 5:30 p.m. at Lafayette Park (next to the bakery). Santa will visit with children, and pose for photos with kids; there will be face painting, live Christmas music, hot cocoa and cookies, and plenty of holiday merriment. The tree lighting ceremony begins at 5:45 p.m. at Lafayette Park. Santa will do the honors and light the tree. The parade follows at 6 p.m., and then kids can visit with Santa at the Flat River Museum immediately following the parade until 8 p.m.

Heritage Holiday Village

Dec. 8: 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Montcalm Community College. Free. Enjoy an old-fashioned holiday in the village, including caroling, crafts, photos with an 0ld-fashioned St. Nicholas, and more. 2800 College Drive, Sidney, Michigan 48885.

Tree of Lights Celebration

Dec. 8, 17: On Sunday, December 8, the Spectrum Health Foundation United & Kelsey Hospitals will hold its annual Tree of Lights celebration at 4 p.m. at United Hospital in Greenville. On Tuesday, December 17 at 6:30 p.m. the Tree of Love celebration will be held at United Church of Christ, 115 W Fifth Street in Lakeview. Funds raised from this year’s Tree of Lights and Tree of Love will help purchase a video laryngoscope for both United and Kelsey Hospitals. A laryngoscope is a lifesaving medical device used to place breathing tubes in a patient who is unable to breathe on his or her own. Enjoy the musical sounds of the season, delicious refreshments and listen as the names of those who are read.


Polar Express Party

Dec. 11: All aboard! Hop on the Polar Express and enjoy a magical storytime train ride at the Sand Lake/Nelson Township Library at 6:30 p.m. Play games, make a reindeer ornament, enjoy an edible train and more at this cozy holiday party. For all ages. The library is located at 88 Eighth Street.

Christmas with Santa

Dec. 14: Santa will be at the Sand Lake/Nelson Township Library from 10 a.m. to Noon a.m. on Saturday, December 8. Visit with Santa and enjoy crafts and treats. Gifts aplenty for the first 200 children! Prize drawings will be held. For all ages.


Pet night with Santa 

Dec. 12: 6-8 pm in Santa House, 94 N. Union. Bring your furry friends to visit with Santa! Photo with $3.00 donation or pet food or blanket donation to go to the Humane Society.

Santa Train visits Sparta

Dec. 14: The Santa Train will visit Sparta at approximately 10 a.m. (visit www.spartachamber.com for exact time.) Follow Santa in the kid’s parade to the Santa House and visit Santa until 1 p.m. Boy Scout Troop 280 will serve hot cocoa, and the Coffee Stop will give out free samples of gourmet coffee. Find Bruce the chestnut grower and try a free roasted chestnut. There will also be free horse and trolley rides until 2 p.m.

Santa in Santa house

Dec. 19 and 21: Santa will be in the Santa house (94 N. Union) on Thursday, Dec. 19 from 6-8 p.m., and on Saturday, December 21, from 11 to1 p.m. Bring your own camera.

Living Nativity

Dec. 21-Dec. 24: The Ballard Church of Christ, 1633 10 Mile Road, presents “The Living Nativity” from 7 to 8:30 p.m., Dec. 21-24.

Horse drawn trolley rides

Dec. 24: Horse drawn trolley rides from 6-9 p.m. Loading area and treats at Sparta Fire Department.


Gingerbread Lane

December 5: Stroll down Gingerbread Lane at the Spencer Township Library and enjoy tasty gingerbread stories from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Each child will make a simple gingerbread house. Pre-registration is required and participant spots are limited. For all ages. Arts and crafts.


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“Life is a journey of stories” at The Kent

Actors are Alison Evanzo, Samantha Roberts, Lois Doughty, Michael Baribeau, James Broskey, Tim Madden, Char Ambrose.

Actors are Alison Evanzo, Samantha Roberts,
Lois Doughty, Michael Baribeau, James Broskey, Tim Madden, Char Ambrose.


Actors del arte Ensemble presents Life Is A Journey Of Stories, a drama about the Depression era and WWI and WWII. We are dedicating this program to our armed forces. This holiday show will be at the Kent Theatre, 8 N. Main Street, in Cedar Springs, on Nov 29 at 7:30p.m., and Nov. 30 at 2 and 8 p.m. Tickets at the door. Adults $10, Students $4, Seniors $8. Call 874-5264 for more details.


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Upcoming plays on the Kent Theatre stage


A Carol For Tiny Tim

The Rogue River Community Theater Company proudly presents “A Carol For Tiny Tim,” at the Kent Theatre on  Nov. 14, 15, 16 at 7:30 pm with an additional 2:00 pm Matinee on the 16th. Written by John Carroll and directed by Scott Phillips. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students with ID and are available at the door or Cedar Springs Public Library.

20 years after the visitation of Ebeneezer Scrooge, we find ourself once again in the presence of those characters made famous in Charles Dicken’s “A Christmas Carol.” The Hatchit Kids have grown up but the relationship between Scrooge and his adopted family continues. Circumstances have changed for some and once again the work of Jacob Marley is needed to save the true meaning of Christmas.

ENT-Life-is-a-Journey-flyer“Life Is A Journey of Stories”

Actors del Arte Ensemble are presenting “Life Is A Journey of Stories” at the Kent Theatre Friday, November 29th at 7:30 pm and Saturday, November 30th at 2 pm and 8 pm. A great holiday treat. The story of an Americian family from 1917-1950 and their courage and fortitude in those troubled years. This play is reminiscent of Thornton Wilder’s “Our Town.”
Tickets at the door: adult $10, students $4 and seniors $8.


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New Prince and Princess crowned

2013 Prince & Princess, Deagan Pike and Grace Middlebrook. Photo courtesy of the Red Flannel Festival.

2013 Prince & Princess, Deagan Pike and Grace Middlebrook. Photo courtesy of the Red Flannel Festival.

The annual Red Flannel Prince and Princess contest was held Wednesday, September 25, at the historic Kent Theatre in Cedar Springs. According to Chair Anna Nozkowski, 25 kindergarteners participated in the contest, and winners were Deagan Pike, of Cedar Trails Elementary, and Grace Middlebrook, of Creative Technologies Academy.

Len Allington, of the Kent Theatre, was presented with a plaque for his outstanding service to the Festival. He was reportedly 100 percent surprised and touched by the gesture. “He has opened his doors to us for many years, and has always been gracious about lending his time,” said Nozkowski.

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Red Flannel Day Talent Show at the Kent Theatre

Cloie and Bruce  Bennett, winners of the Howard City Hometown Idol, will be performing at the Red Flannel Day Talent Show this Saturday.

Cloie and Bruce Bennett, winners of the Howard City Hometown Idol, will be performing at the Red Flannel Day Talent Show this Saturday.

The 2013 Red Flannel Day Talent Show looks to be another winner this year. Held at the historic Kent Theatre located in the very center of downtown Cedar Springs, this annual event showcases the talents of local individuals and groups. This year there are a number of vocalists and musicians, and a variety of other acts.

Returning from last year will be KJ Decker, a local Classic Country singer/guitarist. Also returning is his daughter Whitney, with a couple of country classic songs of her own. Also appearing will be Cloie and Bruce Bennett, a daughter/father duet and the winners of Hometown Idol in Howard City.

The show will also feature newcomers like singer Kyla Emmorey, vocalist Kelcey Dykstra, singer/ guitarist Laurie Bahmer, and singer/guitarist Maddie Nichols. They will also have variety acts with Katie Schumann performing “the Cup Song,” and the Bunko Babes for comedy relief.

All this and more, combined with another classic performance by aging Master of Ceremonies Len Allington, should prove to be well worth the $3.00 ticket price. The show starts immediately following the Grand Parade on Saturday, October 5 (approximately 4:30 p.m.)

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Kent premieres new digital projector

N-Kent-digital1It’s been a long time coming, but the Kent Theatre’s new state of the art digital projector has been installed and is ready to roll!

This weekend’s showing of “42” will be the theatre’s first movie using the new digital projector.

The projector is a top-of-the-line system and is one of the highest quality projectors running in West Michigan. Not only did they upgrade to digital projection, they also upgraded the Dolby sound system to the latest technology.

“We want to thank the community for their support in raising money for this project,” said Len Allington, President of the Cedar Springs Theatre Association.

N-Kent-digital2The Kent began a fundraising drive last spring to raise $60,000 for the new digital projection system after finding out from film distributors that most movies were now going digital, and film prints would be harder to find, and possibly cease all together.

Be sure to come this weekend to see the result of everyone’s exceptional effort in the last year to save movies at the Kent!

Admission is $3. Turn to page 7 for a list of this summer’s movies.

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