Duke Theatre

10060 8-Mile Road,
Oak Park, MI 48220

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This theater was named for jazz great Duke Ellington and was part of the Wisper and Westman circuit, seating about 1,500. It was designed by Charles N. Agree in late Streamline Moderne style.

Though construction was planned before America’s entry into WWII in 1941, construction did not actually get underway until 1946, and the $300,000 theater finally opened in early-1947.

By this time, however, the television era was beginning, unfortunately for the Duke Theatre, which lasted less than six years before Wisper and Wetsman closed it due to rapidly declining attendance.

Later gutted and used as a bowling alley, the building has been vacant for years.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 8 comments)

sdoerr
sdoerr on February 9, 2004 at 7:42 pm

Bryan can you verify? I think it is still open : View link

Gideon
Gideon on July 13, 2004 at 3:39 pm

Although it was empty, that building was still there as of six months ago. I live not too far from it.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on December 19, 2008 at 7:19 pm

Here is a sad looking photo.

JohnMLauter
JohnMLauter on March 17, 2010 at 7:38 pm

the boards covering the marquee attraction panels have some off, you can see the later enameled panels from when the building was a bowling alley now. It’s abandoned, and like everything else in the area, is probably picked clean of any metal.

RickB
RickB on August 11, 2010 at 7:33 pm

Early 2010 pictures here.

RickB
RickB on September 4, 2010 at 8:26 pm

Make this one Closed/Demolished; it came down in August 2010. Demolition pictures here.
The building housed a heating and cooling business after the bowling alley closed.

CSWalczak
CSWalczak on September 11, 2012 at 3:35 pm

This webpage has pictures and other notes about the Duke.

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