United Artists Theater

150 Bagley Street,
Detroit, MI 48226

Unfavorite 18 people favorited this theater

Showing 1 - 25 of 57 comments

Matthew Prigge
Matthew Prigge on November 11, 2012 at 10:40 pm

If anyone has any stories about going to/ working at this threatre in its adult days, I would love to hear them. I am chronicling the histories of adult theatres in the US. Please contact me at Thanks!

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on July 8, 2012 at 12:33 pm

“Everything New But The Four Walls” says the marquee in this 1951 cover photo: boxoffice

sporridge
sporridge on January 3, 2011 at 11:29 pm

As seen by Yves Marchand and Romain Meffre, in their book “The Ruins of Detroit”:

View link

CSWalczak
CSWalczak on October 9, 2010 at 3:23 pm

A sad picture from the recently published book “Lost Detroit: Stories Behind the Motor City’s Majestic Ruins” by Dan Austin: View link

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on July 6, 2010 at 5:29 pm

Detriot has serious problems in the whole city,sections look like New Orleans they just don’t have the money.

CSWalczak
CSWalczak on July 6, 2010 at 5:23 pm

It really is too bad; the theater had its last real shot at restoration in the early 1990s when a private investor took a shot at it. Looking at the facade and what is left of the Michigan just a few doors down is enough to make one cry.

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on July 6, 2010 at 4:15 pm

Nice newreel footage Tinseltoes.

0123456789
0123456789 on July 6, 2010 at 3:33 pm

Unfortunatly there is nothing left of this theatre. It was most ornate, and had a mezzane balconly and a large main balcony. The lobby was olval shaped, and the entrance was extravagant. Now every floor of this most ornate building is gone. It will sone be gone to. Also seating 2100 people. Infact this theatre is in such bad condition you can see out. It unfortunatly can not be saved and needs to be torn down.

Twistr54
Twistr54 on June 10, 2010 at 11:10 am

View link

A few new photos of the building May 29 2010.

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on May 16, 2010 at 6:22 pm

Nice photos looks like it has seen it better days.

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on December 15, 2009 at 10:14 am

Newsreel footage of the 1959 world premiere of “Anatomy of a Murder” can be viewed here: http://www.archive.org/details/Anatomyo1959

Twistr54
Twistr54 on May 12, 2009 at 12:28 pm

View link

This will take you to a file of a few photos I took April 24, 2009 of the buiiding. Also check out the other photo sets I have, I have some other Detroit area theatres.

JohnMLauter
JohnMLauter on November 11, 2008 at 10:22 pm

Quote:“What an awful city Detroit must be”

Hey, those are just the theatres! you should see everything else.

But seriously folks, we are the second theater city in the US behind New York by seat count (divided by # of venues), our Fox theatre is intact and has thrived for 20 years as a beautifully resored theatre, the Masonic Temple theatre has been restored, The State theatre is a rock club, can’t say much more than that but it’s there, open and somewhat clean. Our 1924 Book-Cadillac hotel just opened after a $180,000,000 renovation/restoration and the Pick-Fort Shelby Hotel is in the latter stages of renovation/restoration.
If anything we had too many theatres. Chicago (and New York and San Francisco, etc.) tore them down to put glass box office buildings up. Ours, the real estate under them isn’t that valuable so they sit and rot.

telliott
telliott on November 11, 2008 at 9:42 pm

What an awful city Detroit must be. How can any place allow such destruction of such a beautiful old theatre. And the magnificent Michigan theater becoming a parking garage of all things! Hard to believe they are in the United States.

JohnMLauter
JohnMLauter on October 9, 2008 at 1:46 pm

Ehhhh—I wouldn’t classify it quite that way. There has been work done to the building to stabilize the structure, repairs have been made to the auditorium roof, quite extensively so that it may be a new roof. There is a potential taker for the building, but since they are in the mortgage business I’m thinking that might not happen for a while.
The city actually has been stepping up the inspection of buildings, what had been lax under previous administrations actually became more stringent under the Kilpatrick administration, I don’t know for a fact, but would presume that there has been a change at the management level in the city’s building department, the new guy is more of a go-getter and the Kilpatricks had little to do with it.
We all would like to see the theatre restored, it has suffered greatly over the past 30 years. I was there 33 years ago for the auction, and at that time everything was still there, all of the lobby furniture, lighting fixtures, the Wurlitzer 260-special, all tech equipment. The place had been white-washed and the procenium arch had been chewed open for wide-screen but it was all there.
If you restore it, you have to use it, and maybe make some money back. We have a lot of theatres in Detroit, two pretty big ones and some nice mid-sized theatres. I would like someone to restore and use the UA a daunting idea), but just don’t know.

bruceanthony
bruceanthony on October 9, 2008 at 1:12 pm

I recently heard work was done to the roof of this theatre. Has anyone heard what is going on with both the building and the theatre. I heard someone was interested in buying the building and using the theatre.brucec

rememberingdad
rememberingdad on November 1, 2006 at 11:01 am

I really appreciated being able to find this information. On my recent trip to Detroit, I was looking for the United Artists and Michigan Theaters. My dad used to work at both of them and when I was a kid, I used to go to Grand Circus Park, and walk over to meet dad. I really appreciate the pictures and knowing what happened to these beautiful buildings. Thanks for all the work.

sdoerr
sdoerr on June 17, 2006 at 9:52 am

More activity unfolds, appears the curving awning is being removed

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on January 17, 2006 at 4:40 pm

Great news about the Fox. Reading between the lines of that press release, I get the idea that the UA is going to come down but that they are considering reuse options for the Adams. SNWEB’s pictures seem to back that view up in that the Adams appears to be more substantially intact.

SNWEB: your pictures are fascinating. But you should think twice about going into these half-crumbled buildings. When I was younger I made trips like that and consider it only luck that I didn’t get my ass kicked any number of ways (homeless person, security guard, gang member with weapons, falling plaster, tripping and falling down a staircase in the dark, happening upon spilled hazardous materials and getting sick). There was a photographer like you in Chicago some years ago. I think his name was Richard Nickel but I am not sure. He went into the old stock exchange when it was in the process of being demolished. A wall must have collapsed on top of the guy because he was never seen again.

sdoerr
sdoerr on January 12, 2006 at 8:38 am

A gate has been put up around the building as well as two huge mutlistory banners advertising a development oppurtunity.

Today Ilitch had a press conference that included the United Artists, Fine Arts Building, Fox Theater, and former Madison-Lenox Site and Detroit Building.

Full press release here.

Pics are under Media Room>Photo Gallery

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on January 10, 2006 at 9:41 pm

SNWEB: you have balls for going into this building and taking pictures. I think you could have been killed…by crack heads if not the falling plaster.

sdoerr
sdoerr on January 3, 2006 at 10:28 am

Can’t forget about the Cinema Treasures book aslo, EdSolero!

The owner of the Michigan Theater was kind enough to give me a copy of the Theater Society Annual from 95'. It has some great pics never seen before.