The lobby and entrance of the Fox Theatre Detroit – One of the Last Great Movie Palaces.
Elvis Presley at the Fox Theatre Detroit. 1950s.
Scott Martelle’s OP ED piece in today’s Los Angeles Times takes a look at the collapse of Detroit… asking the question whether or not the Motor City is the future of many American cities? The once great industrial capital of the world is home to the FOX THEATRE… one of the last remaining movies palace in the USA.
Hear the Mighty Wurlitzer play at the grand Fox Theatre in Detroit, Mich. The Fox is a National Historic Landmark and has hosted everyone from Frank Sinatra to Elvis to Iggy and the Stooges. The Wurlitzer used to provide sound for films and entertain guests during intermissions and before the show. Sorry for the shakiness and lack of quality; we were sans tripod and top-shelf equipment.
The Fox Theatre is a 1928 movie palace and performing arts center located at 2211 Woodward Avenue in downtown Detroit, Michigan, near Grand Circus Park. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1985 and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1989. Located within the Detroit Theater District, the Fox has 5,048 seats, (5,174 seats if removable seats placed in the raised orchestra pit are included). It is the largest surviving movie palace of the opulent 1920s. Its seating has been exceeded by other more recent theatres, such as the 1932 Radio City Music Hall (5,900 seats), the Los Angeles Shrine Auditorium (6,300 seats), the 2009 Los Angeles Nokia Theatre (7,300 seats) and others. The Fox was fully restored in 1988. The adjacent office building houses the headquarters of Olympia Entertainment and Little Caesars.
Current view of the Fox Theatre Detroit.
The Detroit Fox was the first movie theater in the world to be constructed with built-in equipment for sound films. The Fox Film Corporation’s patented sound-on-film system “Movietone” enabled the theater to present sound films from the time of its opening.
Jack Benny at the Fox Theatre Detroit.
The Fox opened in 1928 and remained Detroit’s premier movie destination for decades. Unlike many neighboring theatres, it operated continually until it was closed in the 1980s for restoration. However, by the 1960s, the venue was showing its age and maintenance of many key areas was deferred. By the 1970s mezzanine and balcony seating areas were closed.