EXPERIENCE DETROIT

 Attractions & Self-Guided Tours

 

 

Home

Art & Culture Main Page

Provide Feedback

 

 

 

Detroit Theatres

 

Fox Theater

 

 

Overview

Did you know that Detroit is home to the second largest theatre district in the United States behind only New York City's?  And when you add the theatre activity in the surrounding metro area, Detroit's offerings become that much more impressive.  Detroit offers everything from first-run Broadway musicals to classic Shakespeare and venues range in size from the 192-seat Century Theatre to the 5,000-seat Fox Theatre.  Adding to the experience is that many of these historic theatres have been restored to, and in some cases beyond, their original grandeur.  Below we list Detroit's most prominent theatres with the most expansive offerings.  But don't forget to check the local entertainment guides for some of the smaller and more intimate venues.

 

 

mot1_largeDetroit Opera House

1526 Broadway, Detroit

Website

 

The Detroit Opera House is the home to Michigan Opera Theatre, one of the few American opera companies to own and operate its performance facility.  Opening in 1996, the Opera House is the company's fifth venue since its founding in 1869.  Gilded balconies, Tiffany-style glass, and Art Deco and Italian Renaissance décor highlight the interior.  The Opera House offers exceptional original interpretations and classic operas, performances by the American Ballet Theatre, and touring productions such as Rent and Madame Butterfly.

 

 

 

 

 

5ForeverEndingFisher Theatre

3011 West Grand Boulevard, Detroit

Website

 

The Fisher Theatre has entertained Detroit audiences since its opening as a movie and vaudeville house in 1928.  In 1961, the Fisher was remodeled as a live theatre after being acquired by the Nederlander family, well-known theatre aficionados with ownership of venues nationwide.  An elegant theatre housed in the Art Deco style Fisher Building, the Fisher Theatre hosts a variety of Broadway performances and has held world premieres of Hello Dolly, Fiddler on the Roof, Sweet Charity and Golden Boy.

 

14Fox Theatre

5401 Woodward Avenue, Detroit

Website

 

Without question, the Fox is the Motor City's theatre crown jewel.  In existence since 1928 and meticulously restored in 1998, the theatre is the definition of the word opulence.  The ornate interior is described as Oriental, incorporating features of Hindu, Persian and Chinese architecture.  Gold leaf, hand stenciled walls, velvet throne chairs, intricately cast brass ornamentation and the second largest Wurlitzer organ in the nation are some of the highlights of this spectacular building.  The Fox continues to attract record crowds for a mix of concerts, annual variety and Broadway shows, restored classic films and family entertainment.

 

Gem Theatre

Gem & Century Theatres

333 Madison Avenue, Detroit

Website

 

Built in 1903, the Century Theatre first served as a gathering hall for a local women's civic group.  In 1928, the group built the attached two-story Gem Theatre, which hosted film screenings and vaudeville acts for many years.  However, hard times hit the Gem / Century, causing the building to lay dormant for 25 years and threatening demolition as recently as 1997.  To prevent this, the 5.5 million pound structures were moved to a location five blocks away, setting a new Guinness Book World Record as the heaviest building ever moved on wheels.   After painstaking restoration, the resplendent Gem and Century Theatres reopened in 1999 and offer high-quality productions in an intimate setting.

stage_0508_23

Masonic Temple Theatre

500 Temple Avenue, Detroit

Website

 

Appearing on the Michigan and National Historical Registers, the 4,404-seat Masonic Temple is one of the largest and finest theatrical houses in the country.  Since the opening of this magnificent structure in 1926 by the Masonic fraternity, the theatre has hosted virtually all forms of live entertainment, including plays, musicals, variety shows, classical music and opera, rock-and-roll and dance. The theatre hosts 125 to 175 performances each year which include some of entertainment's biggest stars.

 

n08_560

Meadow Brook Theatre

2200 N. Squirrel Rd., Rochester Hills

Website

 

Founded on Oakland University's campus in 1967, Meadow Brook Theatre has become Michigan’s largest non-profit producing professional theatre. As a result of state funding cuts, the theatre nearly closed its doors in 2003.  Fortunately, a grass-roots effort involving hundreds of metro-Detroiters saved the theatre.  This outstanding theatre hosts award-winning productions in an intimate venue offering excellent sight lines and acoustics.  (See the Experience Detroit Great Estates page for more information on Meadowbrook!)

101

Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts

350 Madison Avenue, Detroit

Website

 

Founded in 1928, the 1,701-seat Music Hall is located in the heart of Detroit's theatre district next to the Opera House and across from the Gem and Century Theatres.  The building was designed in the Art Deco style with Terra-cotta Greek masks adorning the exterior and elaborate molded plaster and stenciling complementing the interior.  Completion of an extensive six-year restoration in 1995 adds to the appeal of this Detroit theatre centerpiece that hosts a Just Off Broadway play series, world class dance, family programming, and a comprehensive educational outreach program.  A classic venue offering excellent entertainment!

 

 

greatest_day

The Second City

42705 Grand River Avenue, Novi

Website

 

The Second City comedy group was founded by a group of University of Chicago students in the 1950s.  Since then, it has transformed from a Chicago favorite into a comedic force operating venues nationwide and boasting an alumni list that includes such greats as Dan Aykroyd, John Candy, and Bill Murray.  The original Detroit Second City location opened in 1993 on Woodward Avenue next to the Fox Theatre but relocated to the popular northwest suburb of Novi in 2005.  Grab some tickets to a show and take part in the development of some of Detroit's finest comic talent!

 

history1

 

 

Wayne State University Theatres

Cultural Center, Detroit

Website

 

The Wayne State University College of Fine, Performing, and Communication Arts stakes claim to Detroit's oldest noncommercial theatre.  The school's Department of Theatre boasts enrollment and/or participation of close to 200 students in the three theatres it operates.  Each year the Bonstelle, Hillberry, and Studio Theatres play to the second largest audience in Michigan, behind only that of the Fisher Theatre.   The theatres are all located on or near the Wayne State University campus and the fascinating Cultural Center area of Detroit.

 

Resources & Links

There are dozens of other theatre companies, independent theatres, and live music spots operating in the metro Detroit area not highlighted above.  Click on the links below for information on a number of these venues.

 

Baldwin Theatre

City Theatre

Detroit Repertory Theatre

Ford Community & Performing Arts Center

Majestic Theatre Center

Mark Ridley's Comedy Castle

Music Heritage

Orchestra Hall

Purple Rose Theater (founded by actor Jeff Daniels)

The Fillmore Detroit (formerly The State Theatre)

Related Tours

 

 

 

Art & Culture

Colleges & Universities

Cultural Center

Downtown Detroit

Music Heritage

New Center

Woodward Avenue

 

 

 

Back to Top

Home Page

 

Copyright © 2005-2011 SEK Inc.