Summit Theater

300 W. Lafayette Boulevard,
Detroit, MI 48226

Unfavorite 3 people favorited this theater

Help us make this street view more accurate

Please adjust the view until the theater is clearly visible. more info

Summit Theater

The Cass Theater opened as a legitimate theater September 12, 1926. It was designed by architect Herbert J. Krapp who designed a great number of New York City’s Broadway theaters.

In 1965, it was renamed the Summit Cinerama Theatre as Detroit’s second Cinerama house after the Music Hall. It also received a complete facelift by Drew Eberson, son of John Eberson, who designed Detroit’s (now demolished) Grand Riviera Theatre.

However, unlike the Music Hall’s policy of a Cinerama-only program, the Summit Theater also featured 35mm features as well, such as a long run of "Darling" in 1965 (the same year it screened such Cinerama hits as "Circus World" and "Battle of the Bulge").

After just a couple of years, the Summit Theater dropped Cinerama, and became one of the first major downtown houses to switch to pornographic features. It closed in 1971.

Not long after that, it reopened once again, this time called the Pandora Theater, screening Greek-language films, as well as the occasional 70mm re-release.

By the mid-1970’s, it was shuttered again, and was demolished in 1977.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 12 comments)

DeborahB on December 17, 2004 at 11:13 pm

As a child I was in the production of “The King and I' starring Betty White. I have been unable to find any information as I would love to share this with my family. Does anyone remember this?

William on October 10, 2007 at 5:32 am

The pair of Norelco DP-70 projectors from this theatre are now located at the Redford Theatre.

JohnMLauter on January 11, 2008 at 9:23 am

……..And I was one of those who took them there and installed them. I worked at the Summit in the summer of 1977 showing a retro showing of “2001” for a young-ish guy who sublet the theatre for these 2001 screenings. We were able to get the projectors and other booth equipment for the Redford theatre, and spent the six months between removing the machines at the Summit and when we started the classic movie series that is still running in March of 1978 with “The sound of music” in 70mm.

We always refer to the machines as “AAIIs”, the older marketing name for these terrific projectors.

Jharb on January 18, 2012 at 7:19 am

I was also in the King and I with Betty White in 1960 at the Cass Theater along with my Twin Brother John.

Matthew Prigge
Matthew Prigge on November 12, 2012 at 8:51 am

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!

rivest266 on November 4, 2015 at 6:13 am

September 12th, 1926 grand opening as Cass in photo section.

rivest266 on November 8, 2015 at 2:12 am

March 16th, 1965 grand opening ad as Summit Cinerama in photo section.

Storytime on May 11, 2016 at 1:51 pm

I,too, was in the King and I with Betty White at the Cass Theater in 1960. I was 15 at the time. Future Broadway star Donna McKechnie was in the cast along with NYC Opera’s Jan McArt as Tuptim and Renato Cibelli as the King. The production was directed by David Timar. My friends Patti Cinammon, Laura Moseley, Alice Baker and Beth Thompson were also in the production. I have two black and white pictures taken by the press photog and two dozen color pictures of the kids in the cast. If you are interested, call me at 408 206 9809.

CoraLu on September 11, 2017 at 7:24 am

Hello Storytime, Jharb and DeborahB..I was also one of the kids in the production of The Kind and I, with Betty White. It’s kind of amazing that so many of us have found this page, after all these years. I would love to see any pictures or even just chat about our memories. My email is

MSC77 on April 10, 2018 at 10:26 pm

Fifty years ago today, Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey” premiered here.

To celebrate the occasion, I’m sharing the link to a new retrospective article on “2001.” This and many other cinemas get a mention in the piece.

You must login before making a comment.

New Comment

Subscribe Want to be emailed when a new comment is posted about this theater?
Just login to your account and subscribe to this theater