Metro Mercury I & II

16860 Schaefer Highway,
Detroit, MI 48235

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Metro Mercury I & II

When the Mercury opened June 11, 1941, it could seat over 2,000 movie-goers. This Streamline-style theater was designed by Ted Rogvoy, who later designed the suburban State-Wayne Theater and Terrace Theater.

The Mercury Theater’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 Theater 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 Theater was demolished in 1997.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 11 comments)

Irene on October 19, 2004 at 10:07 pm

I’m glad someone else laments the demolition of the glorious Mercury murals.They were indeed magical. I didn’t get to go there very often, and I don’t remember which movies I saw there, but I’ll never forget those grand and ethereal figures flying silently among the planets and stars. They always made me feel as if I were there with them in outer space. It’s hard for me to believe that no one considered the murals worth recording, not to mention saving. Surely there must be some record of them from the time the theater was built?

Slugger on November 23, 2004 at 7:54 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.

Slugger on August 8, 2005 at 10:12 am

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 7:24 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 7:33 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 3:54 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 26, 2008 at 9:31 pm

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

lisag on February 3, 2015 at 9:14 pm

Dear Slugger, Missmerc, etc., I just discovered this site because I was thinking about being at the Mercury theater, seeing so many wonderful movies, ( when the price was actually a quarter) and marveling at the beautiful images on the walls and around the screen, incredible lights on the ceiling too. If there is any possibility of my seeing those images at a higher resolution I would be so appreciative! Thank you for the discussion and the memories, glisa

rivest266 on November 5, 2015 at 5:04 pm

June 11th, 1941 grand opening ad in photo section.

Nelsonb5 on May 26, 2016 at 3:55 pm

Loved going to this theater. My cousin family resided so close. We could walk to Federals Dept which was located few doors down. The first movie we watched Ten Commandment. Those were the days. More peaceful and loving environment

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