Atlas Theatre

15832 Plymouth Avenue,
Detroit, MI

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Undated photo courtesy of Joe McCauley.

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The Atlas opened in 1939, built in Art Moderne style and designed by Robert J. West. It could seat around 950.

It continued to screen first-run features into the early 70s before switching over to adult fare. During the 80s and into the early 90s the former Atlas was used as a church, but was later razed and replaced by new construction.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

hatrack232
hatrack232 on November 30, 2003 at 1:55 am

During the late 40’s and early 50’s my friends and I never missed a Saturday matintee at the Atlas. We would sit there for five and a half hours watching two full lenght movies, Three Stooge’s short, two cartoons, a newsreel and a preview of coming attractions. All for the grand sum of 12 cents for admission. With 13 cents left over from a quarter you could buy two large nickel candy bars and six long pretzels. Those were the days and I still have fond memories of walking with my friends to the Atlas to see a Roy Rogers picture.

atlastheatre
atlastheatre on May 15, 2004 at 7:27 am

The Atlas Theatre was owned by the Oleszkowicz family. Stanley Oleszkowicz built it and ran it until his death in 1946. His son Joe was the usher and his daughter Mary was the cashier until the family sold the theatre sometime after Stanley’s wife, Victoria, passed away.

Stanley and his family ran two other theatres in Detroit before building the Atlas. They ran the Chopin on Michigan Avenue from about 1920 to about 1930, and then the Stanley from about 1930 to 1938 or 1939. They ran one theatre at a time.

The Atlas was sold to Las Vegas Entertainment in the 1970’s, and they bought it over a ten-year period. The first day under its new management, the Atlas box office was robbed. The Oleszkowicz family would get occasional lawsuits over the movies being shown at the theatre, but the contract said that they had no say over what movies would be shown, so the lawsuits were quickly dismissed.

After the ten-year sale, the Atlas was again sold and became a church. Somewhere over the years, the church closed, (it looked like there was a fire, but I never saw a news story of such a fire) and eventually the entire block was demolished and a new building erected.

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