The Historic Howmet Playhouse has been in almost constant operation since its opening in 1916. Built by the renowned Chicago director Frank R. Adams and local business owner James Nufer, its design was copied from Chicago’s LaSalle Theater and was built for professional live theatrical presentations and the new “flickers”, or as we know them today, motion pictures. The Playhouse has been greeting White Lake area audiences ever since.
Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp
In 1973 the community raised funds to renovate the aging Playhouse. Their efforts were matched by a grant from the Howmet Corporation. Operations were then assumed by Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp with the help of a local fund drive and the participation of Whitehall’s largest employer, the Howmet Corporation. The fine arts camp continued to operate the playhouse until August 2006, when the camp built a new modern theater on its campgrounds.
The City of Whitehall
The City of Whitehall, realizing the Playhouse’s importance to Whitehall and all of the White Lake area, accepted the donated ownership from the fine arts camp, and committed to continue Playhouse operations and its annual Summer Fine Arts Festival.
The Playhouse fills a vital need in this city of 2,900. It is located two blocks off the main street of a traditional downtown and is surrounded by quaint B & B's, restaurants, motels, a marina, and a quiet residential neighborhood. The Playhouse is the center for the area’s arts events hosting as it hosts a variety of Michigan musical groups during its fall and spring seasons, and it produces a Summer Fine Arts Festival consisting of a variety of plays during the summer season.
To learn more about area events, please see the Events tab on the White Lake Area Chamber of Commerce website.
You Can Help!
Our success is reliant on your patronage and volunteer efforts. If you bought single tickets last year, please consider buying a season Flex Pass and bring some friends. If you bought a Flex Pass last year, buy two and bring even more! As Blanche Dubois says, we “have always relied on the kindness of strangers.” Please consider making a tax deductible donation along with your ticket order. Your continued support literally allows us to keep the doors open. Please visit our Support page for further information.
Help keep the lively arts alive in White Lake and the curtain going up in the historic Howmet Playhouse; still your West Coast center of great professional summer theatre and year around entertainment!