Our History

Pontiac’s history is full of theater and arts. At one point, it boasted nine theaters running full time.

Learn more about the local events leading up to our Pontiac business, the PLAT, today. Scroll to experience the timeline. 

Pontiac history

Built in 1868

This Grand Lady (Pontiac’s Little Art Theatre a.k.a the “PLAT”) was born in 1868. This three-story building is listed in Pontiac’s historical records as “the TURK building” and categorized as a “GRO” establishment — the local grocery/dry goods store. The business survived 41 years until its last record in 1909.

Pontiac history

Renovated in 1909

It was revamped in 1909 by Henry W. Pauli, getting a new job as a shoe store. Pauli’s Shoes was known as the “the walk over shoe” store. Pauli’s lasted through the 1930s. The upper floors were apparently rented out to smaller businesses. During the renovations, mural scenes used for background in early 1900 photographers’ studios were revealed beneath the layers on the walls!

the historic PLAT

“Updated” in 1950s

In the 1950s, Thom McAnn shoes bought the location. This is when the false façade was applied to update the appearance. The business was a stable part of the Pontiac business district through the 1960s.

the historic PLAT

1960s to 2015

Things get fuzzy from here… the building may have housed other proprietors through the next couple of decades, but no solid history is recoverable.

In the 1980s, a law office was the PLAT’s reincarnation. The law firm moved on in the mid-1990s. From the 1990s to 2015, Our Lady sat silent. Vacant. Waiting.

In 2015, K and R Studios came to Pontiac, purchasing the building. And the vision began. A historical restoration company saw what was beneath the veneer. A painstaking process to remove the false “face” placed on this beautiful building began and she was stripped down to her bones, inside and out. Her beauty was revealed and lovingly restored.

small event venue and independent movie theater Pontiac Little Art Theatre - PLAT


She is now home to two luxury lofts as well as alive with the theater space. The PLAT will provide as an entertainment venue as well as a small café for the patrons of Pontiac. We look forward to having YOU join us, whether it is for a private meeting, party, reception, an open movie, a public theater, or musical performance and be sure to keep up with the happenings here at the PLAT!