Penn Theatre

760 Penniman Avenue,
Plymouth, MI 48170

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Penn Theatre - Plymouth, MI - Fall 2010

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Opened just three days before the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, the Penn Theatre’s first feature was "Weekend in Havana" with John Payne and Carmen Miranda.

This Art Moderne movie house was built for Harry R. Lush, who owned a couple of other theatres in Plymouth and Northville. The name of the theatre, which was situated across from Kellogg Park, was changed twice before the building was completed and finally crowned in green neon with the name ‘Penn’.

Over the decades, the Penn Theatre had several ownership changes, but continued to be a center of entertainment for the Plymouth community until its sudden closure in 2004. It was briefly used as a church, then closed again.

In December 2005, when it looked like all hope was lost, a group of local businessmen formed Penn Theatre Reality, LLC and purchased the building form its current owners, for $1.2 million. The theatre is currently operated and maintained by The Friends of the Penn, a federally recognized non-profit organization. Renovations are on-going and programming consists of current film titles and occasional classic movie specials.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft, Friends of the Penn

Recent comments (view all 19 comments)

mila659 on March 22, 2005 at 6:52 am

The Friends of the Penn will have its next meeting, “Envision the Penn”-Town Hall, on April 10th at 7pm in the Masonic Temple next to the Penn in downtown Plymouth. Please come to share your thoughts and hear the results of our area survey. In the meantime continue checking the website: for updates.

-Jennifer Philpot-Munson

mila659 on June 4, 2005 at 10:26 pm

Great shot! Here’s a link to a photo of what it looked like on opening night:
View link

To subscribe to the Friends of the Penn email listserve for updates on our progress, send an email to and type “SUBSCRIBE” in the subject line.


br0306 on March 1, 2006 at 3:26 pm

The Penn Theatre has been purchased (closing date is set for 7 Mar 2006) by a group of investors that will lease it to Friends of the Penn for the next 20 years @ $1 per year.

Now that the building has been secured, Friends of the Penn has shifted focus, starting a capital campaign to raise the $1.5 million needed to renovate the theater.

In addition to second-run movies, the renovated Penn will play host to the Plymouth Symphony Orchestra and Plymouth Community Band (among others) when it reopens this fall. The targeted re-opening date is Oct 2006.

daviddavid on March 1, 2006 at 5:15 pm

Wow that would be great, I just Harry Potter at the Civic in Farmington tonite and I was thinking about the Penn— where I watched movies as a kid in Plymouth. I hope they dont try to split it up into more than one room…

br0306 on March 1, 2006 at 5:30 pm

Nothing as drastic as splitting it up. The theatre will be renovated in three phases:

Phase 1 will entail stabilizing the building to open for business. This will include fixing the roof, marquee, and concession area. It will also include replacing damaged ceiling tiles, reinstalling seats, modifying the stage, updating the air conditioning system, audio/visual systems, and stage lighting.

Phase 2 focuses on expansion to a multi-use facility. This phase includes a rear bump-out to accommodate a larger stage, utilization of area under the stage for basement dressing/green room and restroom facilities. Upgrades to the screen, seats, carpet, floors, walls, and ceiling as well as installation of a donor plaque will be included.

Phase 3 will involve the installation of a balcony with additional seating, a side bump out to accommodate a stairwell and additional restroom facilities.

For more up-to-date information visit our website at and sign up for e-bulletine using the link on the home page.


br0306 on September 6, 2006 at 1:44 am

The Penn Theatre in Plymouth, Mi will reopen on Friday September. 8, 2006.

There’s still a lot of work to do, money to raise, things to fix, concession areas to rebuild, etc. etc. etc. but the good news is MOVIES ARE BACK!

The first movie will be Cars, rated G, starts Friday September 8.
Friday, September 8 at 6:30pm & 9:00 pm (box office opens at 6:00 pm)
Saturday,September 9 at 6:30pm & 9:00 pm (box office opens at 6:00 pm)
Sunday, September 10 at 2:30pm, 5:00pm & 7:30pm (box office opens at 2:00pm)
Ticket Prices:

kencmcintyre on January 28, 2009 at 8:22 pm

This is from Boxoffice magazine, May 1960:

Charlotte L. Lush and Margaret E. Wilson have registered title to the Penn Theater in Plymouth, long operated by Harry Lush, who died a few weeks ago.

friendofthepenn on September 9, 2011 at 6:10 pm

The Penn Theatre has just completed an auditorium renovation. New seats, epoxy flooring, carpet, drapery, paint, surround speakers, and renovated original wall sconces. We couldn’t be more pleased with the results. Many thanks to all of our donors, volunteers, and patrons who continue to make the Penn successful.

rivest266 on October 21, 2012 at 1:58 pm

Google Street view now goes inside this cinema.

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