By Mary Slater
©The Recorder December 19, 2019
George Bohm first opened his new theatre on Superior Street on Christmas Day 1929. It was truly a gem and especially grand since the Great Depression had just set in.
One of its most grand features was the Barton theatre organ, complete with all the bells and whistles required to accompany the silent films of the era.
…before opening the first movie to the public, Bohm invited a small group of friends to see the new theatre and its organ.
Early that Christmas morning, before opening the first movie to the public, Bohm invited a small group of friends to see the new theatre and its organ.
This group included Bud Davis’ mother, stepfather, two sisters, and his uncle and aunt, John and Lillian Osborn of River Rouge.
The Osborns were teachers and she also played the organs at the River Rouge Theatre and at their church. Both were Albion College graduates.
John was also a high school classmate of Bohm, who was pleased to have Lillian play the Bohm organ.
Helen Sharp, the ticket seller, who knew when to charge each child the adult price upon reaching the age of 12.
Davis, only seven years old at the time, was amazed to see his aunt sitting at the magnificent organ as it rose from the hidden depths.
His other early recollections of The Bohm include memories of Helen Sharp, the ticket seller, who knew when to charge each child the adult price upon reaching the age of 12.
Davis grew up in Albion and has lived in the area most of his life. After graduating from Albion High School, he first worked at the Commercial and Savings Bank. During WWII, he served in the United States Air Force. While he was home on leave, he began to date Olivia (Ruby) whom he had known in high school, she being a year behind him.
At the time, she was serving in the United Stated Navy WAVES, and she was also home on leave.
They married in 1947. (Sadly, she passed away in 2019).
After the war, Davis was employed as city clerk and city treasurer.
His next career move was to Albion Industries, of which he later became co-owner, vice-president, and treasurer.
Bud and Ruby Davis with Elizabeth Schultheiss of the Albion Community Foundation at the ribbon cutting in October 2014.
Read more about the ribbon cutting on this link:
“Albion has always been good to me,” Davis recently said, And, indeed, he has expressed his appreciation for Albion through many gifts supporting the city and the college on various projects.
Most particularly, he was a major contributor toward the historic renovation of The Bohm Theatre, also known as The Davis Center for Film and the Performing Arts.
He also made possible the Davis Gallery for displaying the works of local artists in the Bohm II.
The Bohm hosts many activities in addition to film, including music and cultural events. As a nonprofit organization, it always needs community support.
For more information or to make a contribution, visit www.bohmtheatre.org
Footnote: R. Bud Davis passed away on March 19, 2020.
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