3020 Washtenaw Avenue,
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Architects: Louis Wiltse
Opened for the Butterfield Theatres chain in 1968, the Wayside was designed by Louis Wiltse and could seat just over 1,000. The Wayside’s most famous feature was its enormous screen, measuring 56' by 24', at the time the largest indoor screen in the US.
The lobby was designed to resemble a comfortable (albeit with late-1960’s style decor) living room, with sofas, end tables, lamps and artwork.
In 1984, the auditorium was twinned, after Butterfield sold the Wayside to Illinois-based Kerasotes Theatres. In the five years that Kerasotes ran the Wayside Theatre, it was notorious for being poorly run. Kerasotes closed the theatre in 1989.
A year later, plans were announced to convert the twin into a brew-n-view style venue, called the Wayside Cinema & Drafthouse, but this fell through. In late-1991, the theatre was gutted and reopened as the Wayside Whirly Ball amusement center.
The building has since been demolished and a supermarket built on the site.
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