Royal Theatre

10799 W. Seven Mile Road,
Detroit, MI 48221

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: United Detroit Theaters, Wisper-Wetsman Theaters

Architects: Charles N. Agree

Styles: Streamline Moderne

Nearby Theaters

Royal Theatre

The Royal Theatre opened on January 30, 1941, one of Detroit’s larger neighborhood houses, located on Seven Mile Road. It was designed by Charles N. Agree, and could seat close to 2,500. Built in Streamline Moderne style, the Royal Theatre was duplicated (by half its size) a half year later, in Agree’s Dearborn Theatre in Dearborn.

The Royal Theatre contained a small stage. Its oval-shaped lobby housed four groups of sculpture by Thomas di Lorenzo, who previously collaborated with Agree on the Harper Theatre (1939), now Harpo’s.

Operated jointly by Wisper-Wetsman Theaters and United Detroit Theatres, the Royal Theatre cost nearly $300,000 to erect, and its early ads hailed it as having one of the biggest parking lots in the country, with room for over 800 cars.

The Royal Theatre had a relatively short career, however, closing in the late-1960’s. In 1969, the property was sold to Grace Hospital, and the theater was demolished.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

ShelleyCameron on March 16, 2013 at 7:47 pm

Correction: The Royal Theatre did have dressing rooms complete with a banquet of mirrored, lighted, vanity stations with stools and a wardrobe closet. In the 1960’s the dressing rooms, reached by climbing an iron stairway off of the inner foyer to the second floor, were used by us “candy counter girls” for stashing our coats and changing into our candy counter uniforms of pink blouses and skirts.

Popcorn was delivered pre-popped in big plastic bags from the Wisper and Wetsman distributor and stored in the cavernous basement. A refrigerator off the dressing rooms held many dozen lbs of real butter that was melted and dispensed from the butter machine at the candy counter.

rivest266 on November 6, 2015 at 12:34 am

This theatre was due to open on December 27th, 1940, but the union, who wanted a stagehand to be hired halted its opening.


It finally opened on January 31st, 1941. Both grand opening ads in photo section.

BrianSchiff on January 6, 2016 at 6:01 pm

I loved this theatre..I remember it being impossible to get near when Jerry Lewis showed up for the premiere of ‘The Nutty Professor’,

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