Flatroc Theater

26263 Gibraltar Road,
Flat Rock, MI 48134

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Additional Info

Firms: Johnson Construction Co.

Functions: Office Space

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Flatroc Theatre

Opened on September 22, 1929. The Flatroc Theater operated into the 1950’s. The former Flatroc Theater is now home to a cabinet store. By 2020 in was in use as office space for an insurance company.

Contributed by Ken McIntyre

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

kathy2trips on November 1, 2009 at 2:04 am

It was featured in a documentary in 1952 about the proposed 20% admissions tax, shown recently on TMC.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on November 8, 2009 at 1:49 pm

This theater was featured in a 1953 theater owners' documentary about the financial devastation wrought by the 20% federal tax, plus other encroachments on the box office, such as television.

The doc is called “The Case Against the 20% Federal Admission Tax on Motion Picture Theaters” and is a treasure trove of theaters operating but in imminent trouble, including long looks at their still-open theaters, marquees, etc., and interviews with the owners.

There are also plenty of shots of already-closed theaters; the writing was really on the wall already.

TCM ran this movie on 11/1/09 at about 6am and I stumbled upon it by accident; I don’t know when it will screen again but it is well worth seeking out.

DavidZornig on January 7, 2020 at 3:20 pm

Adkins Insurance is the current tenant. Photo as such in below link and added to gallery. Marquee still in place with Adkins name.


graymatters on April 17, 2021 at 11:28 am

My grandfather Albert S. “Al” Johnson built the Flatroc Theatre in 1939. His son’s list of Johnson Construction Co. projects lists this job without the year, but I was able to deduce it from some historic online photos. On the WaterWInterWonderland.com site, there’s an image of the marquee showing “Gala Premier Opening Friday September Twenty Second,” and another marquee photo with “Ann Southern in Congo Maisie” which was released in 1940. The only year between 1935 and 1940 in which September 22nd fell on a Friday was 1939. My grandfather shot four color Kodachrome slides of the Flatroc nine years later. I’ve uploaded them to this page. Al’s exterior slide was shot in May 1948 and it shows two pairs of his patented “art moderne” or “art deco” style “Johnson doors” with matching half-octagonal windows.

Al took four interior images in November 1948. The free-hand painted pastel murals on the walls are typical of Johnson-built theaters of the era. One slide is labeled “Vlachos” and shows a sharply-dressed John Vlachos, who was the theater owner.

Another image is the only one in 150 or more slides that my grandfather left behind that shows movie-goers sitting in a theater that he built. A distinctly young audience appears to be waiting for the Western “Marshal of Amarillo” staring Allan “Rocky” Lane to start.

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