Showcase Cinemas Dearborn
24105 Michigan Avenue,
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Opened in 1941 as the Dearborn Theatre, this Charles N. Agree-designed movie house could originally seat 1,498, all on a single sloping floor. The Dearborn Theatre was a smaller version (around 1,000 less seats) of Agree’s Royal Theatre, which opened in Detroit less than half a year earlier. Both were designed in bold Streamline Moderne style, and like the Royal Theatre, the Dearborn Theatre contained a small stage, but had no dressing rooms or orchestra pit. The Dearborn Theatre was run by the Wisper and Wetsman circuit from the time it opened, until 1973, when it was acquired by the Wayne Amusement Company.
In the late-1960’s, a small 300-seat auditorium was added to the theater, called the Dearborn Living Room.
In the 1970’s, a third screen was added to the Dearborn. By this time, it was now called the Dearborn Entertainment Center. It was also one of the first theaters in the state of Michigan to serve alcohol, along with Wayne Amusement’s Quo Vadis.
In the 1980’s, the original nearly 1,500-seat auditorium was carved into four smaller auditoriums, and in 1986, the complex was sold to National Amusements. During its six-year operation of the Dearborn, National Amusements added yet another three screens. In 1992, Showcase Cinemas took over the Dearborn, and it was renamed Showcase Cinemas Dearborn. Though a bit frayed around the edges, the Dearborn remained a popular venue for seeing the latest first-run films.
It was closed September 4, 2006 and was demolished in spring of 2010.
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