Hiland Theatre

13843 Woodward Avenue,
Highland Park, MI 48203

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Highland Theatre

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Highland Park opened in 1915, designed by B.C. Wetzell, who also designed several other Detroit-area theaters, like the DeLuxe and Arcade. It could seat 1,600 and may have originally been a vaudeville house before switching to movies sometime later.

In 1967, it was renamed the Paris Theatre, and began screening adult fare. Three years later, it received another new name, the Hiland Art Theatre. Wayne County prosecutors fought to have the Hiland shut down during the 1980’s, claiming it was being used as a front for prostitution.

The old theater is now in an advanced state of disrepair.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 10 comments)

brian74
brian74 on June 14, 2004 at 2:33 am

I like a lot of your comments on the Hiland Theatre. There is one item I wanted to point out to you. The Fancy Pants was a bottomless bar located further south along Woodward Ave. on the E. side of the street. It was actually one block south of the Davidson expressway The Fancy pants was torn down many years ago after it was closed perminately following a beating incident which resulted in death.

One a lighter note, there was one more theatre located a few blocks north of the Davidson expressway on the W. side of Woodward. It was before the Highland Theatre, I beleive it was off the corner of Grand Ave. and Woodward. The entrance was not in front but actually off to the side on Grand Ave. as I was told by people much older than myself.

sdoerr
sdoerr on June 16, 2004 at 1:51 am

Vincent Chin was killed at the theater, which is i believe the reason it was closed.

brian74
brian74 on June 21, 2004 at 2:22 am

Response to Neo:

Vincent Chinn was not killed at a theatre. The Fancy Pants was a Bar, located one block south of the Davison Expressway.

Why everyone thinks that he was killed at the Hiland Theatre is beyond me. Perhaps someone with mystic powers of mind control is working on the general populace making them beleive it was the Hiland Theatre.

pianoman
pianoman on June 6, 2006 at 10:54 pm

Sorry, don’t try to go there. I tried it and it doesn’t work.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on February 16, 2009 at 4:46 pm

This is from Boxoffice magazine in September 1963:

The Hiland Theater in Highland Park, operated for years by William London and the Brooks Brothers, Leonard and Bernard, has closed.

RickB
RickB on September 17, 2011 at 1:58 pm

Detroit Funk has visited the neighborhood, which has visibly deteriorated since the Google car last went through. Eighth picture from the top shows some of the theater.

DonFoshey
DonFoshey on November 15, 2011 at 6:43 am

The building seems to have undergone a serious fire. The roof is gone and the upper story is largely gutted, from what you can see from street level.

Matthew Prigge
Matthew Prigge on November 11, 2012 at 7:00 pm

If anyone has any stories about going to/ working at this threatre in its adult days, I would love to hear them. I am chronicling the histories of adult theatres in the US. Please contact me at Thanks!

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