Eastown Theatre

8041 Harper Avenue,
Detroit, MI 48213

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Showing 1 - 25 of 39 comments

NittyRanks
NittyRanks on September 29, 2014 at 5:21 pm

Man that is so sad.

Matt Lambros
Matt Lambros on March 25, 2013 at 1:45 pm

I recently photographed the Eastown. Check out the images here.

Morgan_White
Morgan_White on October 12, 2011 at 4:37 am

Hi All. Check out the footage I shot inside the Eastown on Oct. 9th, 2011. http://www.vimeo.com/30399224

Morgan_White
Morgan_White on October 10, 2011 at 1:02 am

Today I visited the Eastown with a friend. The theatre is wide open, and is easily accessible, though it does reside in a bit of a rough part of town. We took a chance and ventured in. Boy, what a sight! It’s in terrible shape, but has a very interesting aura to it. You can feel the space, and the people who went to it. I filmed a bunch of footage on my DSLR, and will cut together a piece to show.

MiltonSmith
MiltonSmith on November 22, 2010 at 11:51 pm

Doesn’t look like there is anything there worth saving, unfortunately, its a gutted-out trash heap…

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on November 22, 2010 at 6:56 pm

Flickr photos. The future does not look bright:

View link

shadowsandrust
shadowsandrust on November 20, 2010 at 3:48 pm

I was fortunate enough to get to see the Eastown in Spring, 2009. Unfortunately I only got a few good pictures, have left my tripod in the car. In front of the stage were several filthy mattresses, used by the local junkies when they shot up. There were rooms in the basement I would have liked to have seen, but an ignored broken pipe was dumping gallons of water down there and it was already several feet deep.

Climbing the stairs backstage, we found the dressing room, costumes still hanging and some old props, all covered in mildew and mold. Inside the projectionist booth there were still bits of spliced film on the floor. The ornate decorations were crumbling, much of the plaster damaged by water, part of the ceiling in the upper balcony had caved in, and it was obvious that it was not long for the world. The pictures I did get can be seen here: View link

CSWalczak
CSWalczak on October 12, 2010 at 3:56 am

Great shot, SN. However, your picture of the auditorium of the United Artists brought tears to my eyes.

sdoerr
sdoerr on October 12, 2010 at 3:02 am

I was the photographer for that shot (as well as the entire book)

The Eastown is quite beautiful and definitely restorable (but sadly the neighborhood dooms it)

The apartment section is what burned in the fire and thanks to great building practices when it was built, the fire wall stopped any damage from occurring to the theater section.

CSWalczak
CSWalczak on October 9, 2010 at 8:26 pm

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

DonFoshey
DonFoshey on August 13, 2010 at 6:35 pm

It is sad, and Detroit has more than it’s share of problems, but the other side of the coin is that the economic doldrums that have hit my home town have also meant that a lot of elegant old buildings are here, unlike cities that have torn down and replaced their architectural history over and over.
These buildings are there, and are structurally sound for the most part. But they need some sort of economic catalyst to save them. Some sort of financially viable way to put them back to use. The Eastown is too far away from anything that’s near commercial redevelopment (or even on the radar for redevelopment) for it to have found a new existence, and the capital to refurbish and repurpose it.

MiltonSmith
MiltonSmith on August 13, 2010 at 12:50 am

It sounds and looks like that theatre was gone YEARS ago, sadly. Then again, from what I hear, that’s the general state of Detroit.

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on August 12, 2010 at 6:11 pm

Another one gone that too bad.

steelbeard1
steelbeard1 on August 10, 2010 at 10:30 pm

The Eastown is almost gone as much of it was destroyed by fire yesterday. Pictures of the aftermath are at http://www.detroitfunk.com/?p=4634 Expect the entire building to be torn down.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on July 31, 2010 at 12:12 pm

Isn’t most all of “Detroit fallen down”.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on January 22, 2010 at 1:51 am

Here is a photo of uncertain vintage:
http://tinyurl.com/ybjhxjr

billtribula
billtribula on January 22, 2010 at 1:27 am

It is very sad to see how this part of Detroit has fallen down. I grew up in this area and it was a thriving community then, now it looks like a war zone. Most of the landmarks that i knew are gone, i remember that on saturdays all the kids in the neighborhood headed to Harper and VanDyke to the movies either the Eastown or the VanDyke, which was a small theater just around the corner from the Eastown. The Eastown would show the newer movies and the VanDyke the older horror movies,and the VanDykes admission was 11cents, Eastown 25 cents. Does anybody else remember those days.

kathy2trips
kathy2trips on November 18, 2009 at 8:42 am

Now it’s for sale for one million. Sure hope someone saves it. View link

freakshow
freakshow on February 25, 2008 at 11:44 pm

Took a ride down to the Eastown last Saturday afternoon for a look see. The building has deteriorated some since the appraisal of June 2005. Upon driving around to the west apartment side of the building it is noticible that one or more of the apartments has had a fire in recent times and that/those apartments have no windows and are open to the elements. All other visible apartments look clean and have clean bright white curtains in all windows. The building and theatre as a whole look sound although all doors look like they would need to be replaced. The benefits of the property are it’s location at Harper and Van Dyke, one block from I-94 and only a mile east of I-75 so it is easily accessable from all directions. The block it is on has two well kept homes to the North of it and a mostly demolished building on the Van Dyke side and two or three small one story buildings on Harper next to Van Dyke. One of these buildings is a church which is a plus and on the next block north on the corner is another church, another plus in my opinion. It is a bad area but the pluses are that there are vast vacant areas all around where homes and buildings have been torn down and the land is clean and well kept. The block it’s on itself has large areas of vacant land which could easily be used to build a safe and secure parking structure to make people using the facility feel safe. With enough investment the building and store front level could be brought back – restored – to it’s 1930’s/1940’s condition. This would take some monies since the store front windows have been bricked up some time ago. These unused store fronts could be used for restaurants, coffee shops or other businesses that would attrached patrons coming down for concerts or shows. The theatre itself and these restaurants and shops could hire people from the two local churches to help run them. The Salvation Army or the Detroit Vietnam Vets could manage and run the apartment building and it might be a refuge for vets or people the Salvation Army are trying to help while they gain useful employment at the theatre or the businesses the building houses. There are signs of new development in the area with a BP Gas Station one block south on the east side of Van Dyke and across the street on the west side and new pharmacy and convenience store. There is no reason this site could do for the East Side what the Fox did for downtown. If only I’d won that bit lottery last Friday!

reczek
reczek on January 27, 2008 at 4:17 am

Hmmmm….. never heard the “rat story!!!” I always thought it might be the ever so subtile hauntings that gave people the ‘heebee-jeebies’ about the venue….

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on January 27, 2008 at 3:27 am

Charles, I was referring to the Gayety, not the Eastown. Sorry if I wasn’t clear.

charlesreed
charlesreed on January 27, 2008 at 3:06 am

Yes it was a movie theatre in the mid-80’s. It had a full projection booth and screen. I mainly showed horror movies that had already played in the major venues. One night a rat brushed an audience members foot and 600 people rushed thru the front doors and blocked traffic on Harper Avenue for twenty minutes.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on January 27, 2008 at 2:12 am

Does anybody know if this theater ever showed films? I’ve been looking for a listing here on CT, but no luck:
http://tinyurl.com/2lqq8w

DetroitDerek
DetroitDerek on January 15, 2008 at 2:17 pm

Picture of it as of the summer of 2007:

View link