Metro Mercury I & II

16860 Schaefer Highway,
Detroit, MI 48235

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Additional Info

Architects: Ted Rogvoy

Styles: Streamline Moderne

Previous Names: Mercury Theatre

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Metro Mercury I & II

When the Mercury Theatre opened June 11, 1941 with Barbara Stanwyck in “The Lady Eve” & Wallace Beery in “The Bad Man”. This Streamline Moderne-style theatre was designed by Ted Rogvoy, who later designed the suburban State-Wayne Theatre and Terrace Theatre.

The Mercury Theatre’s lobby had brass plaques on its walls with autographs of Hollywood stars etched in them. Both the lobby and the auditorium contained modernist murals with astronomical and astrological themes.

The Mercury Theater was the first theatre outside downtown Detroit to show 70mm, with "Porgy and Bess" in 1959. It was also one of the first non-downtown houses to screen first-run films.

In 1985, the large auditorium was twinned into a set of 600-seat auditoriums. The theatre’s original Streamline Moderne d├ęcor was left relatively intact, however. (The old 70mm equipment was removed around this time).

It was renamed the Metro Mercury I & II, and began screening second-run features.

Sadly, the Mercury Theatre was demolished in 1997.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 12 comments)

Slugger
Slugger on November 23, 2004 at 7:54 pm

I am going to try to contact Rogvoy Architects to see if they have any pictures. Perhaps someone who frequents this site can help.

Slugger
Slugger on August 8, 2005 at 10:12 am

Thanks, must’ve been toward the end. Sigh… A place that brought so many happy memories. I would love to have some shots of the astromonical murals in the auditorium.

Irene
Irene on October 6, 2006 at 7:24 am

Slugger,
go to waterwinterwonderland.com and find the Mercury Theater. I sent them some great shots of the murals that were sent to me. This site is
not accepting photos right now, so I couldn’t post them here.
missmerc

Slugger
Slugger on January 5, 2007 at 7:33 pm

missmerc
thanks so much for the great photos. It really brings back memories. Where on earth did you get them? Could you email me higher resolution copies?

hickey56
hickey56 on March 27, 2007 at 3:54 am

Please oh please repost those pics of the Mercury! I would so love to see them! Please slugger! I’ve already seen the ones at waterwinterwonderland, would love to see others.

Thank you!

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on January 26, 2008 at 9:31 pm

The mural photos were posted by Lost Memory on 8/8/05. They don’t need to be reposted.

lisag
lisag on February 3, 2015 at 9:14 pm

Dear Slugger, Missmerc, etc., I just discovered this site because I was thinking about being at the Mercury theater, seeing so many wonderful movies, ( when the price was actually a quarter) and marveling at the beautiful images on the walls and around the screen, incredible lights on the ceiling too. If there is any possibility of my seeing those images at a higher resolution I would be so appreciative! Thank you for the discussion and the memories, glisa

rivest266
rivest266 on November 5, 2015 at 5:04 pm

June 11th, 1941 grand opening ad in photo section.

Nelsonb5
Nelsonb5 on May 26, 2016 at 3:55 pm

Loved going to this theater. My cousin family resided so close. We could walk to Federals Dept which was located few doors down. The first movie we watched Ten Commandment. Those were the days. More peaceful and loving environment

BobHollberg
BobHollberg on March 15, 2021 at 7:42 am

In the early and middle 1960s, exclusive first run movies at the Mercury included Exodus (1960), The Longest Day (1962), To Kill a Mockingbird (1962), Charade (1963), and A Shot in the Dark (1964). After that, the Mercury participated in wide area releases of new movies, including Thunderball (1965) and Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner? (1967). (From the Detroit Free Press archives of Newspapers.com)

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