3011 W. Grand Boulevard,
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Opened as the centrepiece of the Kunsky circuit on November 16, 1928 as a vaudeville and movie house with Corrinne Griffith in the movie “Outcast”. The Fisher Theatre is a unique Detroit example of a Mayan-style movie palace.
Designed by the architectural firm of Graven & Mayger, one of their first commissions, the Fisher Theatre could seat 2,715 in its plush auditorium seats. The interior featured two balconies, an orchestra pit, a 4-manual/36-rank Wurlitzer organ, and in the lobby, a goldfish pond, real banana trees, and macaws which patrons could feed by hand while waiting for the next show.
In the early-1930’s, the theatre was operated by Paramount-Publix and became home to the 40-piece Sam Benavie Orchestra as well as elaborate stage acts.
By the 1950’s, the stage shows were gone, and the Fisher Theatre began showing only films.
Its Wurlitzer was removed in 1956 and installed in the Senate Theatre.
For the last few years of the 1950’s, the Fisher Theatre became a second-run house and screened its final movie “The Magnificent Seven” in 1960.
The next year, the Fisher Theatre was acquired by the Nederlander Theatrical Corporation, which hired the firm of Rapp & Rapp to remodel the theatre at a cost of $3.5 million. It reopened October 1, 1961 with a pre-Broadway production of the musical “The Gay Life”.
It was decorated in an elegant, subdued style, using black marble, walnut paneling, imported crystal chandeliers and decorative metal-work. Seating was reduced to just under 2,100 for more comfortable seating. The Aztec statues which once graced the Fisher Theatre are now outside on private property Northwest of Port Huron, MI.
For over 40 years, the Fisher Theatre has continued to be the preferred destination of touring Broadway shows in Detroit, with such stars as Joel Grey, Lynn Redgrave, Bernadette Peters, and Mary Martin gracing its stage.
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