Chopin Theater

7320 Michigan Avenue,
Detroit, MI

Unfavorite No one has favorited this theater yet

Chopin Theater

Viewing: Photo | Street View

This 400-seat theater was located on Michigan Avenue, and opened in 1922. It was designed by C. Howard Crane. It lasted into the 40s before closing.

Contributed by Bryan

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

sdoerr
sdoerr on July 2, 2004 at 7:14 pm

Anyong have any pictures of the exterior? I have been along Michigan Ave and never seen a building that could of housed it.

sdoerr
sdoerr on July 2, 2004 at 7:15 pm

Oh wait I found one:
View link
now a church

atlastheatre
atlastheatre on August 14, 2004 at 12:28 am

It was at Michigan Avenue and Chopin, between Central and Lonyo. I’m not positive if that picture is right or not. I remember a dry goods store and later a pizza parlor in that corner, but both are now gone. It could be the right one, or not.

The actual theatre would have had an entrance just before the party store. The marquee would have been about where the party store sign is now, but the marquee has long since been taken down. The building on the corner may well be the lobby, since remodeled. The actual theatre would be in the back of the building. Because there are second-story windows on the corner we see, I would think that the theatre would be further in, towards the middle of the block.

It was owned by Stanley Oleszkowicz, who ran it along with his children. An immigrant from Poland, he first owned a combination grocery store and hall (which became a bar whenever the hall was not rented out) with a place upstairs for the family. When prohibition came, Stanley sold that business and used the profits from it to build the Chopin Theatre. There were storefronts on the first floor and office space on the second floor, which were rented out. Stanley’s oldest son was the projectionist until the projectionist’s union objected. They set off a stink bomb in the lobby. Stanley was not intimidated, but both of his older sons refused to be the projectionist. That’s how the Chopin Theatre got a union projectionist.

Stanley and his family ran the Chopin until about 1930 or so, when Stanley decided to build a bigger theatre. That one was, modestly, named the Stanley Theatre, and it was on Warren near Greenfield. In 1938, Stanley opened his last theatre, the Atlas, on Plymouth between Greenfield and Southfield.

When Stanley moved his attention to the Stanley Theatre, he rented the Chopin to a gentleman who also had a theatre across the street. This gentleman showed Polish films in one theatre and American films in the other, until about the time when the Nazis invaded Poland. The timing may be coincidental, but still, it is what it is.

P.S. I know all this because my mother was one of Stanley’s children. And yes, I do listen to the stories in my family.

sdoerr
sdoerr on August 14, 2004 at 12:38 am

That is great to hear Stanley. Did you inherit anything related to the theaters? Also if you have any other info on Detroit’s theaters feel free to add a comment. I am a volunteer for CInema Treasures, and I specifically do Detroit theaters, and do research on them also. Thanks for joining Cinema Treasures, welcome.

Also is the theater still standing or demolished?

sdoerr
sdoerr on August 14, 2004 at 12:51 am

I did an aerial view, image here, the street right above the tack is Chopin st

sdoerr
sdoerr on March 11, 2006 at 6:13 pm

The Chopin maybe gone now, that is if it is the International Beginning Ministries. I just drove by the building an hour ago and a huge hole has been knocked onto the side that is shown in the photo, most likely means demolition is occurring to the building

You must login before making a comment.

New Comment

Subscribe Want to be emailed when a new comment is posted about this theater?
Just login to your account and subscribe to this theater