Six Mile Theatre

16533 Woodward Avenue,
Highland Park, MI 48203

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Six Mile Theatre

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Located in the Highland Park district of Detroit. Opened on March 7, 1927 for RKO, the Uptown Theatre was designed to as a sister theater to the downtown Oriental Theatre.

It was originally a venue for vaudeville, but later switched to movies and contained a large organ. The Uptown Theatre was, like the Oriental Theatre, designed by architect of Percival R. Periera.

Renamed the Six Mile Uptown Theatre (for its location at Woodward Avenue and Six Mile Road in Highland Park) in 1954, the Uptown Part of the name was dropped five years later.

Starting in the early-1970’s, it switched from movies to live strip shows, and later that decade, pornographic films.

After it closed in 1980, plans were laid to convert the Six Mile Theatre into a playhouse called the Eighties. However, this idea came to naught, since it was razed by the late-1980’s.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

brian74
brian74 on June 4, 2004 at 8:37 pm

I saw “Bambi” there as a kid. I remember seeing “Hell Angels on Wheels” there as well, that was in the 60’s when motorcycle movies were popular. Now the structure houses an adult bookstore.

Bluie
Bluie on October 3, 2004 at 8:39 pm

Your thumbnail isn’t certain about the seating capacity of (what we called in my youth) the RKO Uptown. By comparison to another theatre in Highland Park, the Tuxedo, which you seem definite about having an 1800-seat auditorium, I will tell you that the Uptown was very significantly larger. If your figure for the Tux is valid, then I’ll bet the Uptown handily exceeded 2000 seats.

spectrum
spectrum on September 16, 2007 at 3:00 am

According to the Theatre Historical Society’s list of largest movie palaces, the RKO Uptown had 2,922 seats. Their list indicates the auditorium was demolpshed, indicating the rest of the building survives.It had a Wurlitzer organ installed.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 16, 2012 at 1:26 pm

The RKO Uptown/Six Mile Theatre, built in 1927, had to have been designed by Percival Pereira, who had been practicing architecture in Detroit for many years. Percival Pereira was never a member of the firm of Pereira & Pereira, which was founded in 1931 by brothers William and Hal Pereira. The brothers had nothing to do with the design of this theater.

Matthew Prigge
Matthew Prigge on November 12, 2012 at 5:05 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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