You are here

Temple Theatre–Elf Khurafeh Complex

-A A +A
1927, Osgood and Osgood; 2003–2005 rehabilitation, Wigen, Tincknell, Meyer and Associates. 201 N. Washington Ave.

Osgood and Osgood of Grand Rapids, a firm experienced in the creation of Masonic temples, designed the theater and attached three-story clubhouse. It is a steel-frame building with masonry walls and reinforced-concrete floors. The theater and clubhouse spaces functioned independently, but accommodated the Shriners' occasional need for ceremonial and social uses. Henry C. Weber Construction Company of Bay City built it; Tuttle and Clark of Detroit executed the interior decoration. On completion W. S. Butterfield leased the theater from the Elf Khurafeh Temple, A.A.O.N.M.S. (Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of Mystic Shrine). For fifty years the large, substantial motion picture theater that also held live performances and vaudeville was the most important entertainment site in Saginaw. In 1977, the theater closed and stood vacant.

With private investment and federal historic preservation tax credits Samuel and Peter Shaheen rehabilitated the theater complex as a performing arts center. The theater's opulent interior was repaired and repainted by Conrad Schmitt. In 2010 the Shaheens gifted the Temple Theatre to the city with an endowment fund to ensure its preservation.

Writing Credits

Kathryn Bishop Eckert


What's Nearby


Kathryn Bishop Eckert, "Temple Theatre–Elf Khurafeh Complex", [Saginaw, Michigan], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Michigan

Buildings of Michigan, Kathryn Bishop Eckert. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2012, 318-318.

If SAH Archipedia has been useful to you, please consider supporting it.

SAH Archipedia tells the story of the United States through its buildings, landscapes, and cities. This freely available resource empowers the public with authoritative knowledge that deepens their understanding and appreciation of the built environment. But the Society of Architectural Historians, which created SAH Archipedia with University of Virginia Press, needs your support to maintain the high-caliber research, writing, photography, cartography, editing, design, and programming that make SAH Archipedia a trusted online resource available to all who value the history of place, heritage tourism, and learning.