Gateway Theatre

33870 Van Dyke,
Sterling Heights, MI 48312

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Additional Info

Architects: Ted Rogvoy

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ticket stubs

Opened on December 22, 1965 with the James Bond movie, “Thunderball” starring Sean Connery. The Gateway Theatre was part of the Suburban Detroit Theatres chain, and could seat around 1,430 in its auditorium.

Once the Showcase Cinemas opened nearby in 1974 with a then-rare five screens, business steadily fell off at the Gateway Theatre. It closed by the late-1970’s.

It was reopened in 1981 as a dance club called the Premiere Center, which has long since closed. Sometime after the club was closed, the entire building (the marquee included) was painted black, for some unknown reason.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 13, 2010 at 7:37 am

Boxoffice of October 25, 1965, said that the Gateway Theatre, then under construction, had been designed by Ted Rogvoy & Associates, with interiors by Sam Garfinkle. Provision was made in the original design for the later addition of a second auditorium, at right angles to the original auditorium and connected to it by an arcade. This planned second auditorium, which was to seat between 700 and 1000, was apparently never built.

The Gateway Theatre derived its name from a large wrought-iron gate designed by Louis Sullivan which had been salvaged from a Chicago skyscraper and was to be installed in the theater. I can’t find anything else about this on the Internet, but if a Sullivan artifact was installed in the Gateway I wonder what has become of it since?

moax429 on September 1, 2015 at 11:20 am

I remember my father (may he rest in peace) took me, my mother, my younger sister, and myself to see Walt Disney’s The Jungle Book at the Gateway when it was first released in 1967; I was only five and my sister was four. (Popcorn from a machine was only 15 cents!)

When The Jungle Book was rereleased theatrically in 1990, My sister and I decided to see it again for old tomes' sake. And where was it playing but at the Showcase Sterling Heights down the street on Van Dyke and 15 Mile (Maple Road), which helped ensure the Gateway’s death! (And now, the Showcase Sterling Heights itself has been replaced by the MJR Commerce Plaza Theaters, which must be a first-class operation if their Partridge Creek and Westland locations are any indication.)

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