Royal Theatre

10799 W. Seven Mile Road,
Detroit, MI 48221

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Royal Theatre

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The Royal Theatre opened on January 30, 1941, one of Detroit’s larger neighborhood houses, located on Seven Mile Road. It was designed by Charles N. Agree, and could seat close to 2,500. Built in Streamline Moderne style, the Royal Theatre was duplicated (by half its size) a half year later, in Agree’s Dearborn Theatre in Dearborn.

The Royal Theatre contained a small stage. Its oval-shaped lobby housed four groups of sculpture by Thomas di Lorenzo, who previously collaborated with Agree on the Harper Theatre (1939), now Harpo’s.

Operated jointly by Wisper-Wetsman Theaters and United Detroit Theatres, the Royal Theatre cost nearly $300,000 to erect, and its early ads hailed it as having one of the biggest parking lots in the country, with room for over 800 cars.

The Royal Theatre had a relatively short career, however, closing in the late-1960’s. In 1969, the property was sold to Grace Hospital, and the theater was demolished.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

ShelleyCameron
ShelleyCameron on March 16, 2013 at 12:47 pm

Correction: The Royal Theatre did have dressing rooms complete with a banquet of mirrored, lighted, vanity stations with stools and a wardrobe closet. In the 1960’s the dressing rooms, reached by climbing an iron stairway off of the inner foyer to the second floor, were used by us “candy counter girls” for stashing our coats and changing into our candy counter uniforms of pink blouses and skirts.

Popcorn was delivered pre-popped in big plastic bags from the Wisper and Wetsman distributor and stored in the cavernous basement. A refrigerator off the dressing rooms held many dozen lbs of real butter that was melted and dispensed from the butter machine at the candy counter.

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