Punch and Judy Theater
21 Kercheval Street,
Grosse Pointe Farms,
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The Punch and Judy Theater opened January 29, 1930. It was was designed by Robert O. Derrick in Colonial Revival style, looking more like a Virginia country manor than a movie house. The theater seated around 740 and contained an organ, a balcony (which originally had a higher ticket price than the orchestra seats).
After it was closed as a movie theater in 1977, the Punch and Judy Theater was almost purchased by a church, which ended up being turned down by the city due to zoning laws. Later the same year, plans were made to turn the old movie house into a venue for live stage shows and concerts, but in December of that year, the city threatened to cancel a concert at the theater due to supposed safety code violations, then made the new owners sign an “anti-smut” agreement in early-1978. That same year, the Punch and Judy Theater turned to repertory films, but still the city continued to squelch the theater’s operation by banning “ticket lines of 50 or more persons” outside the front entrance.
In 1988, the beloved theater was gutted and converted into offices, though its quaint Colonial American exterior remains relatively unaltered.
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