Fox Theatre (Detroit)

Fox Theatre (Detroit)

Infobox_nrhp | name =Detroit Fox Theatre
nrhp_type =nhl

caption = "Foxtown" in downtown Detroit
location= 2111 Woodward Avenue
Detroit, Michigan
lat_degrees = | lat_minutes = | lat_seconds = | lat_direction = N
long_degrees = | long_minutes = | long_seconds = | long_direction = W
area =
built =1928
10 floors
architect= C. Howard Crane
Restoration by
William Kessler
architecture= Art Deco facade
designated = June 29 1989cite web|url=
title=Fox Theater (Detroit) |accessdate=2008-06-27|work=National Historic Landmark summary listing|publisher=National Park Service
added = June 29, 1989
governing_body = Olympia Entertainment

The Fox Theatre near Grand Circus Park in downtown Detroit, Michigan was designated a National Historic Landmark on June 29, 1989. From the Roaring Twenties, it is one of the first theatres to feature live sound. Located within the Theatre in Detroit, this ornate performance center has 5,048 seats, (5,174 seats if removable seats placed in the raised orchestra pit are included). It is the second largest theatre in the country after the Radio City Music Hall in New York City. The Fox was fully restored in 1988.Hodges, Michael H. (September 8, 2003). [ Fox Theater's rebirth ushered in city's renewal] . Michigan History, "The Detroit News". Retrieved on November 23, 2007.]


The Detroit Fox is the largest of the Fox Theaters. Built in 1928 for William Fox, founder of 20th Century Fox, it was the first movie palace to have live sound. The architect, C. Howard Crane, designed a lavish interior blend of Burmese, Chinese, Indian and Persian motifs. There are three levels of seating, the Main Floor above the orchestra pit, the Mezzanine, and the Gallery (balcony). The exterior of the attached 10-story building features an Art Deco facade, which at night is illuminated and can be seen for several blocks. The Fabulous Fox Theatre in St. Louis, Missouri is its architectural twin with about 500 fewer seats.

The Fox remained Detroit's premier movie destination for decades. By the 1970s the theatre was a grimy venue reduced to showing horror and Kung fu movies. Unlike other downtown theatres in the 70s like the Michigan, United Artist and Capitol the Fox managed to remain open. The 1980s brought new hope for the Fox when in 1984 Chuck Forbes, owner of State and Gem theaters, brought the prospect for renovation; however, he didn't complete his plans.

In 1988, the theatre's new owners, Mike and Marian Ilitch, fully restored the Fox at a cost of $12 million.Hodges, Michael H. (September 8, 2003). [ Fox Theater's rebirth ushered in city's renewal] . Michigan History, "The Detroit News". Retrieved on November 23, 2007.] Ilitch Holdings, Inc. is headquartered in the Fox Theater Office Building. The area of downtown near Grand Circus Park which encompasses Fox Theatre is some referred to as Foxtown after the theater . In 2000 Comerica Park opened and helped to revitalize the area along with Ford Field in 2002. The Fox is Detroit’s top venue for Broadway shows.


The Radio City Christmas Spectacular was an annual favorite from 1997 through 2005. The theatre was host to the WWE Hall of Fame ceremony on March 31, 2007, the night before WrestleMania 23, being held at nearby Ford Field. As well as The Condemned World Premiere the night before on March 30, 2007. Other live productions have included , David Copperfield, Blue's Clues' Live! as well as show tours, such as Donny Osmond, Irving Berlin's White Christmas, Dora The Explorer! Live, and in April 2007, Go! Diego! Live! with Liz Coscia, after Sesame Street Live productions, in 1998-2008.

Photo gallery


References and further reading

*Cite book | author=Hauser, Michael and Marianne Weldon| title= Downtown Detroit's Movie Palaces (Images of America)| year=2006 | publisher= Arcadia Publishing | id=ISBN 0-7385-4102-8
*Cite book | author=Hill, Eric J. and John Gallagher | title= AIA Detroit: The American Institute of Architects Guide to Detroit Architecture| year=2002 | publisher= Wayne State University Press | id=ISBN 0-8143-3120-3
*Cite book | author=Meyer, Katherine Mattingly and Martin C.P. McElroy with Introduction by W. Hawkins Ferry, Hon A.I.A.| title=Detroit Architecture A.I.A. Guide Revised Edition | year= 1980| publisher= Wayne State University Press| id = ISBN 0-8143-1651-4
*Cite book | author= Sharoff, Robert | title=American City: Detroit Architecture| publisher=Wayne State University Press| year=2005| id=ISBN 0-8143-3270-6

External links

* [ Official Site]
* - National Historic Landmarks in Michigan: [,1607,7-160-17449_18638_20846-54585--,00.html| Fox Theater Building]
* [ Video review of the Fox Theatre]

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