Broadway Theatre: Hosting CMU’s Creative Community since 1929

Story by Sarah Wright
Photo by Anne Langan

Mount Pleasant has contributed a lot to Central Michigan University, but that’s especially true for the university’s creative community. The Broadway Theatre, located in downtown Mount Pleasant, is one of the city’s best and brightest contributions to the creatives of town.

Opened in 1929, the theatre has been home to a variety of concerts, classic films and the local community theater troupe, the Broadway Players, among dozens of other campus events.

“In the five years I was a student at CMU, I went to the Broadway Theatre [for] every single one of them,” said CMU alumna Sandy Fairman. “It closed for a while in 1986, but the backlash from students was so strong that they eventually reopened it. That’s how much people loved it.”

One of the theatre’s most prominent events is theatre fraternity, Alpha Psi Omega’s, annual presentation of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” historically takes place in the days leading up to Halloween. The showing has been a popular Halloween-time event for the  community since the original movie first gained cult momentum.

Recently, the theatre hosted Sigma Chi’s “Derby Days” Pageant. The pageant was held to support one of the many philanthropies that CMU greek life supports and featured the talent, beauty and intelligence of women from various sororities on campus.

Additionally, the Broadway Theatre also hosts performances by all three campus s cappella groups: On the Rox, Central Harmony and Fish N Chips.

“We have gone there time and time again. Not only is it affordable, but the theatre is beautiful and such a fixture in the CMU community. It’s always worthwhile, and the staff has always made time for us,” said former CMU student and On the Rox member, Carlie Mahnke.

Next time you’re taking a stroll down Broadway street downtown, take a look at the black block letters that say what event is coming soon. Maybe even take a picture of its historic facade.