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Old 04-03-2012, 02:43 PM   #1
Ryan
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Default The Michigan Theater



In 1926, one of Henry Ford's original workshops was knocked down in order to build the Michigan Theater. It was designed to be the pride of Detroit and to capture the metro's ... To read the rest of this blog entry from The Ford Barn, click here.
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Old 04-03-2012, 05:00 PM   #2
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Default Re: The Michigan Theater

Great pics Ryan, I have been there many times. Too bad alot of Detroit's historic buildings and turning out this way. I am taking my coupe on a small tour of downtown Detroit this spring. It is about a half hour drive.
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Old 04-04-2012, 12:07 AM   #3
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Wow, that's from right out of the heydays of the roaring 20's. I'm so impressed with what happened in this country between the turn of the century and the start of the 2nd world war. The highs and lows were so over the top it's unbelievable and Ford, Edison, Firestone were just part of the people responsible for these changes.
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Old 04-04-2012, 12:17 AM   #4
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Wow. Such a shame. About that same time my hometown Tulare Fox theatre Closed. It was a magnificent place. It soon faced the wrecking ball. Now there sets a Wells Fargo Bank with a huge parking lot.
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Old 04-04-2012, 05:13 AM   #5
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Default Re: The Michigan Theater

I've been there a few times myself. Used to be able to take the Warren crosstown bus to Woodward & take that downtown. Saw alot of movies there. Downtown had a few buildings like that. Didnt appreicate them back then. They seem to be just tearing them all down anymore. Glad Mr. Illitch (Tigers/Red Wings/Little Ceasars) saved the old Fox Theater.
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Old 04-04-2012, 08:15 PM   #6
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Default Re: The Michigan Theater

Everything's disposable in America! I got on a local guys case about restoring the downtown theater here. He gave me some line about money/cost. He owns every block of Main St.!
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Old 04-05-2012, 10:37 AM   #7
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Default Re: The Michigan Theater

I've never seen pictures of that before. That place is unreal!! I can't imagine what it must have been like to walk through there in the 20's. I hate to see this happening to our history....
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Old 04-05-2012, 11:10 AM   #8
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Default Re: The Michigan Theater

I've been by it but never inside. Sad to see what's happened to Detroit over the last 40 or so years especially. I work north of town (Troy) and we go downtown for lunch sometimes. Such a contrast from when I was a kid. There's still some very nice places down there but also some scary neighborhoods to steer clear of.

Thanks to Mike Illitch for investing in downtown. And I think I heard that Roger Penske is bringing a race back to BelleIsle this year? Not sure which series though.
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Old 04-05-2012, 07:01 PM   #9
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Default Re: The Michigan Theater

i bet it was a Kool place to go, i bet lots of good looking women went there!
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Old 04-05-2012, 07:33 PM   #10
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Default Re: The Michigan Theater

If you guys are interested in seeing more photos of the old Detroit Theatre, there are many of them on the www.DetroitYES.com website. It might take a minute to find them, but they're there. Part of the movie "8Mile" was also filmed inside a few years back. It's an absolutely AMAZING piece of architecture, and a real shame that it has been reduced to what it is today.

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Old 04-05-2012, 09:08 PM   #11
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Actually Penske bailed on the Detroit Gran Prix. GM is the one responsible for bringing it back this year after a two year break. Should be a great event.
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Old 04-05-2012, 10:43 PM   #12
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Default Re: The Michigan Theater

When they had started the demolition on the Michigan (decades ago) the company that owned the building was going to rennovate and use the office space of the old theatre and create a parking lot on the spot where the picture that you see is. During the demolition was when they had found that the construction of the theatre was intergral and structural to the rest of the building, that is where the demolition stopped. That is why you see the half demolished sections of the old theatre with the "parking structure" inside it.
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Old 04-05-2012, 11:24 PM   #13
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Default Re: The Michigan Theater

Here's a link to a couple of the photos I mentioned earlier. If you click on the picture it will take you to the next one, and there are four or five total. Actually, the whole "tour" is worth taking the time to view if you have any interest in America's automotive history. Some of the photos are really heartbreaking....



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Old 04-06-2012, 04:08 AM   #14
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Default Re: The Michigan Theater

Quote:
Originally Posted by gz View Post
Actually Penske bailed on the Detroit Gran Prix. GM is the one responsible for bringing it back this year after a two year break. Should be a great event.
I hadn't heard that about him pulling out. Thanks for the update.
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Old 04-06-2012, 10:12 AM   #15
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Default Re: The Michigan Theater

Some parts of the Michigan Theater remain intact, but these are mostly offices and other rooms along that line.

You can't really get to them however.

Here's a little piece I wrote on 58 Bagley Ave & The Michigan Theater.
http://vintagefordfacts.blogspot.com...ey-avenue.html
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Old 04-06-2012, 12:15 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjsound View Post
Everything's disposable in America! I got on a local guys case about restoring the downtown theater here. He gave me some line about money/cost. He owns every block of Main St.!
He owns every block of Main St because of wise business decisions. If he thought there was money to be made restoring the theater, he would. If he restored money losers he would own nothing. I hate to see them go also.

I won't and I don't think you would save a Model T from scrap if it would end up costing a lot more than is worth when done. If you would, I know where one is you can buy and lose money on it.
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Old 04-07-2012, 02:37 PM   #17
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Default Re: The Michigan Theater

Stuff like this pains me to see......Those buildings were built by americans who took pride in their work, Craftsman, In todays fast pace, get it done today world there just isn't room for them anymore. It is sad what this country has come too IMO. I am not a rich man, but I do believe that there are more imporant things than money, Surely somewhere there is someone who is very rich, who would want to lose money So that these buildings could be saved for everyone to enjoy. I mean if you have 100 million dollars, what's wrong with losing a couple of million??.....It is not like you would have to cut back on your lifestyle or anything....LOL just saying!
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Old 04-07-2012, 03:24 PM   #18
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He owns every block of Main St because of wise business decisions. If he thought there was money to be made restoring the theater, he would. If he restored money losers he would own nothing. I hate to see them go also.

I won't and I don't think you would save a Model T from scrap if it would end up costing a lot more than is worth when done. If you would, I know where one is you can buy and lose money on it.
I gotta call BS on this. With a true hobby it's not what it costs. It's how much you enjoy it. If you're in business to sell and the hobby is nothing more than making money that's alright. But You probably won't be selling me one of your inflated vehicles. A lot of us are preserving history and an enjoyable hobby. If I wanted to be in business I'd start a convenience store. I own a '21 touring and a '26 sedan and I'll bet you a full years worth of your profits you can't buy or ever will be able to buy one of my Model T's.
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Old 04-08-2012, 09:00 AM   #19
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I'm not trying to sell anyone one of my cars. I bought them at the right price and have invested in them about what they are worth. I do know where some are that when finished would be worth way less than invested when finished. That is the reason they haven't sold. One of the owners I know for sure would sell for scrap before he would come off his price. That is a car that will likely never be saved. Plenty of true collectors have passed over it because of price.
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Old 04-08-2012, 11:29 AM   #20
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I won't and I don't think you would save a Model T from scrap if it would end up costing a lot more than is worth when done.
Ummm, I hate to stir the pot but this statement describes most people in this hobby. I'd be willing to bet that 75% of the Model A and Model T owners on this site have more invested in their cars than they're worth, but what you seem to be missing is that none of us (at least the sane ones) set out to restore our cars in order to make a profit. If you're into your car for less than it's worth than kudos to you, because you're one of the few.

Mike Illich on the other hand is in business to make a profit and you're correct, there's no profit in restoring an old theatre like the Michigan. The costs would be astronomical and the potential returns very small. It was at one time an amazing piece of architecture, but it sat unoccupied for so long that it fell into such disrepair that it's just not feasible to try and restore. What I find especially sad about the whole situation is the fact that the Michigan is only one of many similar buildings in Metro Detroit suffering the same neglect. The Grande Ballroom, the Vanity Ballroom, the National Theater, the Eastown Theater and the Highland Theater are just a few other examples.


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