Roxy Theatre

2745 Woodward Avenue,
Detroit, MI 48201

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Growing up in Detroit in the early-1950’s, the Roxy Theatre was one of three theatres on Woodward Avenue (along with the Colonial Theatre and the Fine Arts Theatre) all the kids in the neighborhood would end up at on Saturday and Sunday afternoons.

We saw all the B, C and D horror movies of the time, all the “giant monster” movies, all the “gladiator movies”, all the “atomic radiation causes something or sombody to change drastically” movies, as well as some pretty well known movies, like “Bridge on the River Kwai”. All for 35 cents. The Roxy Theatre usually showed triple features, and one of them always seemed to be a Randolph Scott cowboy movie. We’d stay there all day.

Contributed by Roberto Warren

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

JimRankin
JimRankin on July 2, 2004 at 6:19 am

It is amazing how many theatres are named ROXY as inspired by the once famous name of the New York City panjandrum of the movie palace: Samuel Lionel Rothapfel = “Roxy”. His namesake was the famous, 6000-seat ROXY THEATRE in NYC, which outlasted him by only 25 years when it was demolished in 1960. The whole story is nowhere better told than in that landmark book “The Best Remaining Seats: The Story of the Golden Age of the Movie Palace” by the late Ben M. Hall in 1961. Various editions of it are sometimes available from www.Amazon.com, but only the first edition contains the color plates, though many libraries have, or can order, copies of it. The Theatre Historical Soc. of America ( www.HistoricTheatres.org ) was his legacy, and they have much data/photos of the original ROXY, as well as the many other such namesakes.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on September 13, 2007 at 5:05 pm

This was a Detroit Theater Enterprises house in the early sixties, along with the Hollywood and Rio in Detroit.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on September 30, 2008 at 9:02 pm

There is a photo of the Roxy in disrepair on this site:
http://tinyurl.com/3hneez

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 29, 2009 at 6:38 pm

The Roxy was one of three remodeling projects featured in an article in the April 1, 1950, issue of Boxoffice. All three projects were designed by Detroit architect Ted Rogvoy. Prior to the remodeling the Roxy featured a facade dating back forty years when the building was erected for retail space. Most of its features remained intact when the building was later converted into a theater.

Rogvoy updated the house with an Art Moderne porcelain enamel front that also stretched across an adjacent shop building. Above the theater entrance was a sign tower with ROXY spelled out vertically in block letters on all four sides. It was quite an elaborate remodeling for a 24-hour grind house.

The photo at Water Winter Wonderland (ken mc’s link above) does not depict the Roxy Theatre, but the later Roxy bar located down the block.

NittyRanks
NittyRanks on May 12, 2014 at 11:25 am

Now the church that was near it just burned. I know it’s a theater site but it’s sad nonetheless.

http://www.freep.com/article/20140511/NEWS01/305110149/Neighbors-mourn-historic-Detroit-church-destroyed-suspicious-fire

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