Detroit to get new art house/revival venue

posted by CSWalczak on September 18, 2009 at 3:40 pm

DETROIT, MI — Detroit, which has lost almost all of its movie theaters within the city limits, is about to get a new art house. To be called the Burton Theater, it will be housed in the restored auditorium of the former Burton Elementary School at Cass and Peterboro.

The Burton Theatre is set to open in the Burton Elementary building on Cass at Peterboro on Oct. 3.

The movie house will screen new, independent films, LBGT, foreign, and cult.

The four partners behind the project — David Allen, Jeff Else, Nate Faustyn and Matt Kelson — saw the scarcity of movie theaters in Detroit, plus they had a 35mm projector. When developer Joel Landy purchased Burton Elementary, they discovered that he wanted a movie theater in the building. It was a perfect match.

Read more at Model D.

Comments (2)

willis on September 18, 2009 at 4:54 pm

Good to know. Thanks for posting.

GaryParks on September 19, 2009 at 4:31 am

Sounds like a cool project. Out here in CA, there are two movie theatre operations which come to mind that have made use of school auditoriums. The first is the Riviera Theatre in Santa Barbara, which uses (or used, I’m not sure if it’s still open)the beautiful Spanish styled auditorium of the original campus of Santa Barbara State College. I was at a movie there once with my mom in the early 1990s. She went to that campus in 1940, and it was very nostalgic for her to be there again, though she remembered attending stage plays, musicals, and assemblies in that theatre. The wall sconces had been outfitted with script “R” initials, the open beamed ceiling and stucco walls gave it a simple vintage theatre look, and there was a niche over the proscenium.
Another example which operated for a couple of years (ending a couple of years ago) was at Gunn High School in Palo Alto, where their circa 1960s theatre, the Spangenburg Theatre—which has a huge capacity and stage for a high school facility—had a program of almost-firstrun movies of both mainstream and art/foreign genres. We kept trying to see shows there, but other things would intervene, and then the policy ended.

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