Comments from Wystan

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Wystan commented about Ann Arbor I & II on Mar 10, 2005 at 4:18 pm

The Vth Forum, later called the Fifth Forum, got its name from its location on Ann Arbor’s Fifth Avenue (between Liberty and Washington streets), where it replaced an earlier building that housed Schroen’s Swiss Cleaners, a drycleaning outfit. The theater’s architect, Lester Fader, was a professor of architecture at the University of Michigan. The two theaters that resulted from the longitudinal split of the original auditorium were called the Ann Arbor I and II, not Ann Arbor 2. In the late 1990s, after the building has stood vacant awhile, the theater’s sloping floor was leveled and the structure was given a jazzy stainless steel (or is it aluminum?) jacket as part of its conversion to an office building for WebElite, a local internet web design company. When that company failed in the dotcom nosedive, its young entrepreneur owner Jacques Habra, who still owned the building, converted it to a Mediterranean/Middle Eastern-themed tobacco smoker’s paradise, with
narghiles (water pipes) as an exotic lure.