Lasky Theatre

13320 Joseph Campau Avenue,
Hamtramck, MI 48212

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Opened in 1926, the Lasky Theatre could seat around 1,000. It was closed by 1950, and its interior soon after gutted for retail use. It served in this capacity as a furniture store, until it also closed and the building was demolished in 2009.

Though its facade was relatively plain and devoid of ornamentation, its Art Deco-era marquee was still fairly intact, and survived as signage for whatever store might have been housed in the former theater at the time.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 40 comments)

michnative on April 3, 2008 at 1:37 pm

Does anyone know the name of the owners for the Lasky Theatre around 1930???

LaskyFurniture on February 22, 2009 at 8:57 pm

My Great grandfather, Jacob Lasky, his son, Lou Lasky, and his son in law, Isadore Berman owned this building from 1911 on, until it closed around 1950.

CazyNayNay1988 on May 11, 2009 at 1:04 pm

Someone torched the place last night, roof is gone, and it might be a total loss!!! Good bye Lasky furniture, we have been neighbors for a long time (granddaughter of Theresa -now deceased- your neighbor for 40 years-her house was torched too recently.)

InDetroit on May 12, 2009 at 12:57 pm

I was in the building a number of times since February. I live close by. I took some shots of the theater ceiling weeks ago (I was surprised and happy to see the entire theater ceiling was still in there!). I was quite disappointed to see how much more damage had occurred to the interior (Done by scrappers and vandals) since my first visit. Was saddened to discover what had happened yesterday. Some of the shots I’ve taken can be seen here:

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 17, 2010 at 6:48 am

Here is an obituary for Jacob Lasky, published in Billboard, November 17, 1951:[quote]“LASKY— Jacob C.,
85, owner of the Lasky Theatre, Detroit, November 6. He built the house in 1926, leasing it to the Koppin Circuit originally, and later operating it himself for a time. Survived by his widow, Bessie, and five children. Interment in Clover Hill Park Cemetery, Detroit.”[/quote]

mortalman on June 17, 2011 at 8:56 pm

I am really confused about the Lasky Theatre history and ownership. I added a comment some years ago stating that my father worked for the owners of the Lasky Theatre. I have clear memories from my mother that also worked at the Lasky Theatre that the owners of the Lasky Theatre were the Sol brothers. There was a 3rd brother and his name was Harry Krim that I found on the internet. He was an elderly man in his late 80s I believe. He lived in a place called Farmington Hills, Michigan. I found him and talked to him by phone on April 6, 2006! He verified that he was the younger brother of Mac and Sol Krom and that they were the owners of the Lasky Theatre on the SE corner of Davison and Jos. Campau. As a child we lived around the corner from the Lasky Theatre on Dearing between Jos. Campau and Mitchell Sts. So, two people claim to have owned the Lasky Theatre this man named Berman that has made contributions on this comment section of this website and I have what seems to be irrefutable evidence that the Krim brothers owned this theatre. I’m sure there must be a logical explaination to the inconsistencies surrounding the history and ownership of the Lasky Theatre. I sure hope someone comes up with some answers before we’re all dead and buried. I am going to call Harry Krim tomorrow because I still have his phone number and with the Lord willing he may still be alive for me to. talk to, again.. sta

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 18, 2011 at 3:39 am

mortalman: Most likely the building and the business were under separate ownership. Such arrangements are not rare. The Laskys owned the building, and the Krim brothers must have owned and operated the theater business for at lest part of its history, leasing the theater portion of the building from the Laskys.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 18, 2011 at 3:54 am

Also, this theater was demolished in 2009. Photos here.

CareyVigor on November 3, 2015 at 6:15 pm

I met an elderly Polish Jew in the deli in Beverly Hills in 1989 who struck up a conversation with me because I was practicing my Polish with the waitress. He told me he came from Warsaw in the 30’s and owned the Martha Washington Theater in Hamtramck and was related somehow to both Lasky and Krim. He moved to Hollywood using the money he made on the Martha Washington. The waitress tood me he was once married to Kim Novack and had something to do with bringing her to Detroit for a premier at the Trans Lux Krim theater on Woodward. I never got his name but the waitress said he was a founder of Paramount Studios. He told me he made his first dollar from Lasky and Krim who sold him the Martha Washington Theater. That is where I saw Viva Las Vegas where even the black girls were screaming.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 4, 2015 at 12:46 pm

CareyVigor: For at least part of the 1930s and 1940s the Martha Washington was owned by the Manteufel family. A Florian Manteufel was the manager in 1942. It might have been him that you met. Manteufel is a German surname, but many German surnames- mine, for one example- are used by both Germans and Jews.

But the waitress must have gotten her stories garbled. Paramount Pictures was founded in 1914 by Utah theatre owner, W. W. Hodkinson, so someone arriving in the 1930s couldn’t have been a founder.

Also, IMDb says that Kim Novak was married twice, first to the English actor Richard Johnson, from March, 1965, to May, 1966, and then to a Dr. Robert Malloy, from March, 1976, to present. Of course it’s possible that she had an earlier marriage that was kept secret by the studio, and remains secret, but it would have to have been over before she signed with Columbia Pictures in 1954, at the age of 21. Not a very big window of opportunity for a secret marriage.

Jessey Lasky was associated with Paramount from very early in its history, but I don’t know if he is related to the Jacob Lasky who built the Lasky Theatre, but it seems doubtful, as Jesse Lasky was a native of San Francisco.

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