Metro Mercury I & II

16860 Schaefer Highway,
Detroit, MI 48235

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When the Mercury opened in 1941, it could seat over 2000 movie-goers. This Streamline-style theater was designed by Ted Rogvoy, who later designed the suburban State-Wayne and Terrace Theaters.

The Mercury’s lobby had brass plaques on its walls with autographs of Hollywood stars etched in them. Both the lobby and the auditorium contained modernist murals with astronomical and astrological themes.

The Mercury was the first theater outside downtown Detroit to show 70mm, with "Porgy and Bess" in 1959. It was also one of the first non-downtown houses to screen first-run films.

In 1985, the large auditorium was twinned into a set of 600-seat auditoriums. The theater’s original Streamline Moderne decor was left relatively intact, however. (The old 70mm equipment was removed around this time).

It was renamed the Metro Mercury I & II, and began screening second-run features.

Sadly, the Mercury was demolished in 1997.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 12 comments)

Slugger on November 23, 2004 at 10:54 pm

I am going to try to contact Rogvoy Architects to see if they have any pictures. Perhaps someone who frequents this site can help.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on August 8, 2005 at 12:50 pm

Here are some photos of the Mercury Theater in Detroit.

Slugger on August 8, 2005 at 1:12 pm

Thanks, must’ve been toward the end. Sigh… A place that brought so many happy memories. I would love to have some shots of the astromonical murals in the auditorium.

Irene on October 6, 2006 at 10:24 am

go to and find the Mercury Theater. I sent them some great shots of the murals that were sent to me. This site is
not accepting photos right now, so I couldn’t post them here.

Slugger on January 5, 2007 at 10:33 pm

thanks so much for the great photos. It really brings back memories. Where on earth did you get them? Could you email me higher resolution copies?

hickey56 on March 27, 2007 at 6:54 am

Please oh please repost those pics of the Mercury! I would so love to see them! Please slugger! I’ve already seen the ones at waterwinterwonderland, would love to see others.

Thank you!

kencmcintyre on January 27, 2008 at 12:31 am

The mural photos were posted by Lost Memory on 8/8/05. They don’t need to be reposted.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on August 26, 2008 at 12:26 pm

This is a photo of the Mercury Theater circa 1960.

Tinseltoes on June 26, 2012 at 11:06 am

The distinctive decor of the Mercury Theatre was described in this 1941 trade article: boxofficemagazine

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