Detroit Fox Theatre
This gallery is a preview of what you can expect to see at Theatre Historical Society of America’s annual conclave and historical theater tour in Detroit June 18 – 24, 2018. You can find out more about the upcoming Conclave, and how you can participate in the historical theater tours here.
About the Detroit Fox Theatre
The Detroit Fox is one of five spectacular Fox Theatres built in the late 1920s by film pioneer William Fox. Architect C. Howard Crane designed the Fox with a lavish interior featuring a blend of Burmese, Chinese, Indian and Persian motifs. There are three levels of seating, the Main Floor above the orchestra pit, the Mezzanine, and the Gallery (balcony). The exterior of the attached 10-story office building features a façade with Asian motifs which, when illuminated at night, can be seen for several blocks.
The Fox opened in 1928 and remained Detroit’s premier movie destination for decades. Unlike many neighboring theatres, it operated continuously 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 to the public.
In 1984 Chuck Forbes, owner of the State and Gem theaters, proposed a renovation project. These plans were never fully realized, but in 1988 the theater was acquired by new owners, Mike and Marian Ilitch, who fully restored the Fox at a cost of $12 million. Their company, Ilitch Holdings, Inc., is headquartered in the Fox Theater Office Building. In 2000, Comerica Park opened and helped to revitalize the neighborhood along with the construction of Ford Field in 2002.
Address: 2211 Woodward Avenue Detroit, Michigan
Owner: Olympia Entertainment
Type: movie palace
Reopened: November 19, 1988
Architect: C. Howard Crane
Restoration by: William Kessler
Architectural style: Art Deco with a blend of Burmese, Indian, Persian, Chinese, and Hindu motifs
U.S. National Register of Historic Places: February 14, 1985
U.S. National Historic Landmark: June 29, 1989
Michigan State Historic Site: October 17, 1991
Detroit Fillmore Theatre
Fox Theatre, 2211 Woodward Ave, Detroit, MI 48201