Warfield Theatre

5126 Hastings Street,
Detroit, MI 48211

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Additional Info

Architects: Albert Kahn

Styles: Streamline Moderne

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Warfield Theatre

The Warfield Theatre, located on Hastings Street at Farnsworth Avenue, originally opened in 1914 with seating for 376. It was designed by architect Albert Kahn. By 1933 it was operating as an African-American theatre. It was demolished in March 1936.

A new larger Warfield Theatre was built on the site. It had an Art Moderne style catered for African-American audiences. It closed in 1949, but reopened briefly in the early-to-mid 1950’s before closing again in 1959. It has since been razed.

Contributed by Bryan

Recent comments (view all 1 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 19, 2021 at 11:48 pm

Film Daily of March 27, 1936 said that the Warfield Theatre in Detroit was being razed, and that owner Moe Teitel planned to built a new theater of 1,500 seats, to open about August 1. I don’t know if the rebuilding resulted in a theater as large as planned, but the vintage photo on this page at Water Winter Wonderland shows the entrance with four sets of double doors, which would be overkill for a house with only 376 seats, so the rebuilt theater must have been quite a bit larger, even if FDY never changed the capacity in its listing.

The Film Daily item also noted that by the time the Warfield was rebuilt it served an African American audience. One commenter at WWW says that she saw William Castle’s 1959 movie “The Tingler” at the Warfield, double billed with ‘The Mummy", released the same year. A nephew of Morris Teitel also left a comment, saying that the house was demolished to make way for Interstate 75. Construction on that highway within Detroit began in 1959, and was completed in December, 1960, so the horror double bill was probably one of the last shows at the Warfield. Judging from the maps, its entire neighborhood was wiped out for the interchange with the Edsel Ford Freeway.

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