Summit Theater

300 W. Lafayette Boulevard,
Detroit, MI 48226

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Summit Theater

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In 1927, the Cass opened as a legitimate theater 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 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 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 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, screening Greek-language films, as well as the occaisional 70mm re-release.

By the mid-70s, it was shuttered again, and was demolished in 1977.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 8 comments)

GREGORY
GREGORY on November 5, 2003 at 6:40 am

Saw 2001: a space odyssey there. It was a great place to see films on their giant curved screen.

JohnB
JohnB on December 10, 2004 at 3:38 pm

Wish someone had pics…I took one of my first girlfriends there to see the premier showing of 2001 A Space Odyssey. The interior was red velvet, although seating was tight. We sat high in the upper balcony…place was beautiful in April 1968. Detroit was short-visioned on retaining it’s architectural history then-unfortunately

DeborahB
DeborahB on December 17, 2004 at 5:43 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
William on October 10, 2007 at 1:02 am

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

JohnMLauter
JohnMLauter on January 11, 2008 at 3:53 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
Jharb on January 18, 2012 at 1:49 am

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

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on July 24, 2012 at 3:04 pm

Described as the Summit in this 1966 trade article: Boxoffice

Matthew Prigge
Matthew Prigge on November 12, 2012 at 3:21 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!

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