4120 Woodward Avenue,
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Previously operated by: Midwest Theaters Co.
Firms: Bennett & Straight
The Majestic Theatre was opened on April 1, 1915 as a legitimate playhouse with 1,651 seats. By the late-1920’s had switched to films. It was designed by C. Howard Crane.
An interesting early feature of the Majestic Theatre was its lighting system which could simulate dawn or dusk in the auditorium before the show. It also had an early air-conditioning system where huge blocks of ice in the basement were blown on by large fans and the air circulated throughout the theatre.
In the early-1930’s, when Woodward Avenue was being widened, Crane’s original façade was remodeled by the firm of Bennett & Straight who created a colorful, soaring terra cotta-clad Art Deco style façade for the Majestic Theatre. By the early-1940’s it was operated by Midwest Theaters Co.
Eventually, the Majestic Theatre became a second and third-run house, then, after the theatre closed in the 1950’s, it housed at various times a church, photography studio, and, later, a trophy store.
Finally, in 1987, it was restored and reopened as a concert hall. The Majestic Theatre has since become one of Detroit’s premiere concert venues for rock, blues, reggae, and world music performers.
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