Metro Mercury I & II

16860 Schaefer Highway,
Detroit, MI 48235

Unfavorite No one has favorited this theater yet

Metro Mercury I & II

Viewing: Photo | Street View

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 8 comments)

Slugger
Slugger on September 12, 2004 at 9:43 am

I loved this theater. I grew up nearby and on the last day of school, the nuns would hand out coupon books to all the kids. The coupons were for matinees. I saw at least 300 movies at the Mercury. Including the first runs of, “To Kill a Mockingbird”, “ The Miracle Worker”, “The Music Man” etc. The murals on the walls were magic. I spent as much time looking at them as I did watching the movies. I remember the last movie I saw there. It was “To Sir with Love” in 1967. I was sad to hear it was demolished. I wonder if anyone has any photos of the murals.

Irene
Irene on October 19, 2004 at 10:07 pm

Slugger,
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
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
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
Irene on October 6, 2006 at 7:24 am

Slugger,
go to waterwinterwonderland.com 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.
missmerc

Slugger
Slugger on January 5, 2007 at 7:33 pm

missmerc
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
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
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.

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