United Artists Theater

150 Bagley Street,
Detroit, MI 48226

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Showing 51 - 61 of 61 comments

sdoerr on February 9, 2005 at 2:52 pm

It’s still there phillster but Ilitch ruined the building.

The theater has a huge hole in the roof and it has been neglected for years.

Vandals have gotten in and vandalized everything, removed and busted the maidens, took out wiring, etc.

The future does not look good for the United Artists at all. And the fact Ilitch owns it threatens it even more!

phillster on February 9, 2005 at 2:47 pm

The “revival” you speak about in the 60’s wasn’t so short-lived. It went on from earlier than that until the very end of the roadshow business in the late 70’s early 80’s. The UA was always booked with a 70MM roadshow “event” movie on reserved seat basis. This was THE roadshow house in Detroit, even thought there were many others. The UA was where you saw Cleopatra, Judgment at Nuremberg, My Fair Lady, Becket, Doctor Zhivago, Ben-Hur, King of Kings, Sweet Charity, Doctor Doolittle, Goodbye Mr. Chips and many others. If it’s still standing, this is the place that should be next in line to be saved and restored. It would be an ideal place to be the American 70MM Motion Picture Museum, as it were, always showing the great roadshow epics.

sdoerr on February 5, 2005 at 11:04 pm

Heh, went down and seen the underside of the marquee collapsed onto the sidewalk below, lets see how long it will be before Ilitch cleans it up ahaha.

Bluie on October 3, 2004 at 3:18 pm

I believe the statement that Detroit’s United Artists Theatre was the first to get CinemaScope is incorrect. The first Detroit house to install ‘scope equipment was the Fox, for the opening of the first film to be (not produced, but) released in the anamorphic process, “The Robe.” I was an usher at this very glamorous event, and had the opportunity of exploring backstage, and in the booth. I remember the screen was particularly large, in that the early C'scope features had an aspect ratio of 2.67:1, rather than the current 2.34:1. Up until that night, the only wide-screen house in Detroit was the Music Hall, showing “This is Cinerama.”

sdoerr on August 30, 2004 at 3:46 pm

here is a link to the window graffiti: http://www.snweb.org/pics/det35.jpg

JimRankin on August 16, 2004 at 11:26 am

See the discussion about the graffiti situation here and elsewhere at: http://cinematreasures.org/news/X11973_0_1_0_C_21804/

sdoerr on July 24, 2004 at 2:38 pm

This week the city painted all the boards on the first floor black…

sdoerr on June 22, 2004 at 8:16 am

The UA has been open since the late 90’s as Bryan posted, Mike Illitch (owner of Little Caesars) owns the UA, Fox, and Adams. He had left the UA open for years, thus scavengers have gone inside, staling copper wiring, smashing the Indian maidens (last time I heard only one remained, that one is probably smashed now). Sadly this theater is such a bad stage of ruin, the auditorium has lost its spectacular look. If you are on the streets you can see graffiti in the windows, although it is vandalism, it has earned the title among locals as “the nicest abandoned building.” I do have to agree somewhat as it isn’t cuss words, rather anti-war, peace, but overall I wish they wouldn’t have done it. I am glad to say that the complex has been sealed good (from my observations, and looking for a way in), the doors are caulked shut. I actually hoped to document the building, but I guess it is great that it is finally sealed good.
I have some pictures I have taken of the exterior including the graffiti windows located HERE.

gfitrakis on October 7, 2003 at 4:51 pm

The United Artist did not play “sound of Music”. (At least not the 1st run Road show version}.

“Music”, Played its first run at the Madison Theatre.

GREGORY on April 18, 2002 at 2:09 am

The United Artists Theatre, in Detroit, was the best theatre I have ever been in to see a film. The first motion picture I saw there was SOUTH PACIFIC in Todd-AO. The picture and sound were perfect. As the overture played the house lights would slowly dim until the last note hit and the giant gold curtains opened and opened. Also saw there: Walt Disney’s SLEEPING BEAUTY, BEN-HUR, THE ALAMO, MY FAIR LADY, CAMELOT, DOCTOR ZHIVAGO, DOCTOR DOLITTLE, OKLAHOMA! It is sad to think that this great theatre is in ruins.