History of Thomas Theatre Group
The Thomas Theatre Group was founded in 1922 by Martin Dawe Thomas. At the time, he managed more than 20 theatres for FOX across Northern Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
His vision for Thomas Theatre Group was to bring the most modern theatres for local entertainment to the region. He did so by opening/purchasing and operating theatres in:
- Houghton (Lode)
- Laurium (Peoples)
- Iron Mountain (Capitol, Colonial, Braumart)
- Menominee (Lloyd)
- Ironwood (Cloverland, Morgan, Rialto, Ironwood)
- Calumet (Calumet)
- Hancock (Kerredge, Orpheum)
- Fond du Lac (Garrick, Bijou, Orpheum)
In 1936, the family business was passed on to Martin’s daughter, Elizabeth Thomas. She and her husband, Thomas Renn, operated the business from 1945-1979.
Elizabeth’s daughter and son-in-law, Kristina and James Andes, took over the business operations in 1979. As industry technologies rapidly changed in the 1990s, Thomas Theatre Group - in fulfilling Martin’s vision - kept up. In the fall of 1994, James and Kristina built two 8-screen movie complexes in Escanaba (Willow Creek), Michigan and Quinnesec (Tri-City), Michigan. Any remaining Thomas Theatre Group theatres across the Upper Peninsula of Michigan were either sold or closed.
Thomas Theatre Group was successfully run by James and Kristina Andes until 2010. In August of 2010, Thomas Theatre Group was purchased by Martin’s great-grandson and his wife, Thomas and Valarie Andes.
In 2014, Thomas and Valarie add a chapter to the history and tradition of what Martin Dawe Thomas created - a state-of-the-art multiplex in Marquette, Michigan.
“It is with a sense of great pride and determination we will continue to be good stewards of our family business.” – Thomas D. Andes