Fox Theatre

2211 Woodward Avenue,
Detroit, MI 48201

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Fox Theater Auditorium

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The Fox Theatre seats over 5,000 people and is Detroit’s largest movie palace. In 1988, the Fox underwent an $8.1-million restoration. Since the restoration, the Fox has become one of the most successful theaters in the country combining broadway shows, concerts, special events and the occassional classic film.

Recent comments (view all 88 comments)

JohnMLauter on April 20, 2010 at 5:27 am

Hey, I just found this again, sorry for the long lag—Thank you for your kind words re: my performance on “Prairie Home Companion”, it was a blast to be a part of, even if I didn’t get the gig until Friday morning! I work well under pressure, and Mr. Keillor, Rich Dworsky and the staff were wonderful to work for. To answer some questions, Bob Jensen, good info there, mostly accurate. It had been a habit to call those 4-36 organs either “Fox specials” or “Crawford specials” and it turns out that those terms are nomenclature that organ enthusiasts developed, the factory referred to them as “4-36 specials” The first one went to the Paramount theatre in NYC, they weren’t called “Paramount specials”. Crawford himself refuted the claim that he designed that model, he stated that it was designed by someone at the factory and that he simply asked for certain stops, which they obliged. I played that performance on PHC from the slave console, which is located in the balcony colonnade, a half a city block and 35 feet up from center stage, where the guy’s all-star shoe band was playing! thanks to a wireless headset feeding me the show mix, we were all together. The Detroit Fox Wurlitzer is remarkably unchanged and intact, not visited by “Midnight Organ supply” in the least. The Moller lobby organ gets used far more often than the Wurlitzer in the auditorium, we play that for a lot of shows. It is in great condition, thanks to roger Mumbrue and Dick Smith, the men who care for both organs. In terms of recordings made on the Detroit Fox Wurlitzer, There is the Reginald Foort 10" disc on the Cook label from 1952, Ed Gress on the Prescott(?-senior moment)label from 1957, Ray Shelley 1960 Columbia LP, Don Thompson’s Pipe organ presentations LP from the 1980s and Simon Gledhill’s CD from 1995.
I am contemplating making a CD there, possibly this summer.

Twistr54 on June 10, 2010 at 7:49 am

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I have some new pictures of the Fox. I was there for an event on May 29, 2010. I know some inside pictures are a little dark, but all in all, they are pretty good.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on July 8, 2010 at 6:44 pm

Thanks Twistr54 for the fine photos.

moviebuff82 on February 7, 2011 at 4:11 am check this out…..this year’s longest Super bowl ad was shot at this venue….

koppenneer on February 13, 2011 at 11:58 am

For John Lauter – Did you create the CD you mentioned several years ago? I’d be very interested in buying a copy. Regards, Keith O.

properduck on May 26, 2011 at 6:18 pm

Don’t forget John Muri’s 1971 concert on the Wurlitzer which he released on his own label LP in 1975.

BobFurmanek on November 6, 2011 at 11:15 pm

Martin and Lewis on the set of “Money from Home” promote a May, 1953 engagement at the Fox:

By the way, that’s a massive 3 strip Technicolor 3-D camera rig on the set. MONEY was one of only two movies filmed with this particular camera.

tntim on June 17, 2014 at 4:44 pm

Picture of the projection booth. Link

edlambert on October 23, 2014 at 2:12 pm

As a child I became interested in the new-fangled cinema photography as it was being presented: Cinerama, CinemaScope, etc. As my birthday gift in 1953 I visited the Fox to see the first film released in CinemaScope, “The Robe.” I know that the Fox just prior to showing this film was advertising its films as being on “the giant screen,” as other theaters downtown were doing. My questions: What were the dimensions of the old screen at the Fox? The dimensions of the ‘scope screen?

In neighborhood theaters, larger screens were installed, but masking was used to cover the upper part of the screens and to open on the sides in order to provide the aspect ratio for CinemaScope. In other words, ‘scope films actually used less square footage of the screen than did non-'scope films. I wonder whether the Fox also did this, although for years after every film shown at the Fox was in CinemaScope or its successor, Panavision.

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