Downtown Theater

120 W. Adams Avenue,
Detroit, MI 48226

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rivest266 on November 5, 2015 at 12:43 am

September 25th, 1927 grand opening ad as Oriental also in the photo section.

rivest266 on November 5, 2015 at 12:42 am

August 23rd, 1930 grand opening ad as Downtown in photo section.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 16, 2012 at 2:47 am

Percival Pereira was not a member of the firm of Pereira & Pereira. That firm consisted of brothers William and Hal Pereira. There is a lot of conflation of Percival and Hal on the Internet, and I suspect that much of it has been spread from Cinema Treasures. I really ought to have noticed this sooner.

RickB on September 4, 2010 at 8:10 pm

Some 2010 pictures of surviving bits of the lobby about halfway down this page.

kencmcintyre on December 22, 2008 at 6:46 pm

From Boxoffice magazine, January 1938:

DETROIT-Detroit’s off-again-on-again house, the Downtown, reported closed last week, reopened here Saturday. The house was closed by Lipton Astrachan, who went back to Chicago, but reopened by Sam Carver, who was manager of the house for the Krim circuit when it was open a few weeks ago.

sdoerr on November 19, 2007 at 9:10 pm

On a current map the RKO Downtown would be seen as a parking lot. The Adams Theater is near the corner on Adams Avenue, and the United Artists in on Bagley somewhat near the corner next to a gravel lot that used to contain the Tuller Hotel.

seymourcox on November 19, 2007 at 1:26 pm

From the map function a theatre is clearly visible sitting on Park & Adams. Is this the former RKO Downtown, or another house?

DonFoshey on August 29, 2007 at 5:54 am

Thanks SNWEB. Makes me even more sorry that I missed the tour. I hope the Oriental lobby will be on the 2008 tour.

sdoerr on August 28, 2007 at 7:19 pm

Hey Don if you want to see photos of the theater I took look no further, visit this link. I’m adding more shots daily.

DonFoshey on August 28, 2007 at 11:30 am

The lobby was included on this year’s Preservation Wayne theatre tour, which I’m really sorry I missed. I’m hoping they’ll keep it on in the 2008 tour, because most of the theatres in the tour are those that are in great shape (Detroit Fox, Music Hall, Detroit Opera House and the Gem) and those in renovation (Palms-State). Great to see, but it also helps to be able to see those in disrepair or of which only remnants survive(too bad we can’t get into the Adams or the United Artists).

John Lauter’s post stated that John Muri recorded an album on the Six Mile RKO’s Wurlitzer. Is that recording available anywhere? And what about the Muri recording on the Detroit Fox?

johnlauter on March 31, 2006 at 7:27 pm

The Six mile (aka RKO uptown, six-mile uptown) was nothing like the Oriental/RKO downtown. The Oriental was an atmospheric and the Six mile was a hardtop, somewhat plain “classical” styling. The Six-mile was HUGE, and had fantastic acoustics. John Muri recorded a landmark album on the Six mile Wurlitzer.

sdoerr on September 17, 2005 at 3:23 pm

It appears that the Six Mile Theater was nearly the same in style. Shame both are demolished

rmpereira on November 4, 2004 at 9:03 am

P.R.Pereira was my grandfather .. I was told long ago he had designed the interior of the Fox theater in Detroit. Can anyone disput or confirm this ..

sdoerr on July 25, 2004 at 1:02 am

yes but in my comment above I mistakenly said it was the only one in the city

sdoerr on July 24, 2004 at 11:32 am

Correction, the Riveria is also a atmospheric theater. I found out today that the theatre is the parking lot next to Park Ave. Apartments, and the acutal lobby is intact and is the Park Ave. Apartments mechanical room.

sdoerr on March 3, 2004 at 1:23 pm

Your kidding me! Detroit’s only atmospheric theater torn down for a PARKING LOT? What the heck!