East Side History Madison’s Blog

By and for the East Side History Club, a project of the Goodman Community Center

Alice Speth, daughter of East Side movie theater owners, deceased 11/16/2009

Posted by eastsidehistorymadison on November 19, 2009

Alice B. Speth, who had recently been in touch with the East Side History Club about her family’s movie theater businesses on the east side, and who had planned to attend our December meeting on Norwegian connections and our upcoming January 2010 meeting on the 1900 block of Winnebago Street, has passed away. She was 80 years old, and died peacefully in her home just off the Capital Square. Alice had been active in the Madison Senior Center, RSVP, and in helping the mentally ill. (Read her obituary here… www.madison.com/obits/listings.php?type=trans&date=11%2F18%2F2009)

Alice’s parents Thomas and Betsy Michalson ran the Palace Movie Theater at 1957 Winnebago Street, and the Star Theater located where Star Liquor now operates on Williamson Street. Thomas was the first person to deposit money at the opening of the new Security State Bank building in 1924. Greeting him were T.A. Coleman (president) and T.E. Coelman and H. J. Loftsgordon (vice presidents), according to the “Looking Backward: Fifty Years Ago” column in the Wisconsin State Journal of May 11, 1974.

Alice’s mother Betsy Michalson had the honor of representing the East Side in greeting the prince and princess of Norway when they visited Madison in 1939, according to another “Looking Backward” column.

Alice had shared a number of items from her scrapbooks with the East Side History Club in the months prior to her death. We regret we won’t have more time with Alice to learn about her experiences on Madison’s East Side.

Betsy Michalson, our East Side’s Royal Greeter, photo courtesy of Alice Speth.

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