Monday, April 23, 2018

Explore Detroit - T #atozchallenge

Come along with me and explore the beauty & general awesomeness of Detroit, A to Z !


This post was a lot more involved than I expected!  I made the mistake of just jotting down the theaters that I thought of off the top of my head....but there's a lot more!   So let's begin.

Gem /Century Theaters -  The Century Theater was built in 1902 (and was the first building in Detroit to have a building permit issued in a woman's name!) as a dinner club/400 seat auditorium for a group of socially prominent women.  It shares a lobby with the Gem Theater that was added on in 1928.  In 1997, it made history (Guinness Book of World Records) a second time as being the heaviest building (5 million + lbs) to be moved on wheels when it was relocated so Comerica Park could be built. 
 You can still see intimate live shows in the Century Theater but the Gem appears to be used only for private events and weddings.

Fillmore Theater - was built in 1925 and has a capacity of 2,888 peoples.  It holds concerts, special events and the Detroit Music Awards every year.

Fox Theater - was opened in 1928 as a movie house and operated continually until the 60s when age started to show.  Mike & Marian Ilitch (see my "I" post) bought the Fox in 1988 and spent $12 Million to restore it.   With a capacity of over 5,000 people, it's the largest theater in Detroit.   This is also the building that houses Ilitch Holdings / Olympia Entertainment / Little Casears.  
I saw Skid Row play here in 1992 and they commented that they couldn't believe they were allowed to play in such a beautiful place!

 Fisher Theater - is located in the Fisher Building and seats 2,089.  It's the local Broadway theater and is currently showing the School of Rock.

 Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts  with 1,731 seats.  This opened in 1928 when the widow of the late John Dodge (of Dodge Motor Company) remarried a man who was interested in stage productions.  It was used by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra for a while and then was used for "Cinerama" films - which are shown on a 146* curved screen and used 3 projectors.   It is still used for musical & dance productions.
 photos by OrnateTheaters,com

Masonic Temple Theater  is located inside the Masonic Temple, which the is world's largest masonic temple.   At 55x100 feet, the stage is one of the largest in the country and is used for Broadwasy shows, concerts and other special events.
photo by

Detroit Opera House with 2,700 seats  I wrote about this in my "O" post.   Opened in January 1922.

Saint Andrew's Hall was built in 1908.  The concert venue (1000 seats) called the Shelter opened in 1980 and is known for a long list of breakthrough musical acts that got their start there.  Is known for being where Eminem first performed. 
photo by
photo by

Majestic Theater  opened in 1915 as the largest movie theater at the time.  It's now part of the Majestic Theater Center, which includes the nearby Garden Bowl (bowling alley), The Majestic Cafe, The Magic Stick (pool tables & dancefloor), and Sgt. Pepperoni's (pizza)
photo by

Orchestra Hall  - is a 2,014 seat concert hall known for its excellent acoustics.  Built in 1919, it was home to the Detroit Symphony Orchestra for 20 years until the Great Depression made them move to a more affordable location. Orchestra Hall stood empty for several years, then new owners hosted jazz performances until 1951 when it closed.  The building stood empty until the late 60s when the assistant principal bassoonist at the time headed a movement to raise funds for restoration of the old Orchestra Hall.  The DSO didn't move back in until 1989.   The Mayor of Detroit gives his annual State of the City Address here. 
photo by
photo by
I can't believe I didn't think of this one right away - I work for a trucking company and we have a contract with the DSO.  It's our trucks & drivers that haul their equipment to events and other venues.
Fun fact - check out their trailer!  It's temperature controlled to help protect the instruments.


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