Columbia Theatre

50 Monroe Street,
Detroit, MI

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Opened by John Kunsky in 1911 as his first true movie house in Detroit, after several earlier nickelodeons, including the nearby Bijou (opened as the Cent Odeon), the C. Howard Crane designed Columbia could seat over 1000, and was located on Monroe Street, which was the city’s first entertainment district prior to being displaced by Grand Circus Park in the late Teens and early Twenties.

The Columbia contained a pipe organ and has its own house orchestra in its early decades of operation.

It was closed in 1956 and has long since been demolished.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

sdoerr on December 20, 2003 at 2:01 pm

I recently seen another photo of this theatre, the National is located to the left right outside the picture. Today it is an empty field across the street from Hard Rock Cafe Detroit.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on August 29, 2007 at 1:35 pm

A Hillgreen-Lane theater organ opus 278 size 2/18 was installed in the Columbia Theater in 1911. Theater was located at 50 Monroe Street and cost was $2,700.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on September 15, 2007 at 7:39 pm

Another photo of the Columbia Theater can be seen here.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on January 16, 2008 at 5:08 pm

The Hillgreen-Lane theater organ was replaced in 1927 by a Wurlitzer theater organ opus 1701 style 100 special.

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