Ryan Theatre

Van Dyke Avenue and E. 9 Mile Road,
Warren, MI 48089

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Additional Info

Architects: Talmage C. Hughes

Firms: Johnson Construction Co.

Styles: Art Deco

Nearby Theaters

Ryan Theatre exterior

Located in the Metro Detroit suburb of Warren to the north of the city at Van Dyke Avenue and E. 9 Mile Road. The Ryan Theatre opened on December 28, 1949, with a seating capacity of 1,400, all located on a single floor. One of the special features was the side exit vestibule that opened to a 500 car parking lot with a covered canopy for the patrons to wait under.

The block brick building had a moulted cream, tan and red porcelain enamel front. The double marquee was lined with bright neon stars on the center.

Flowers were painted on a green background on the lobby walls. The auditorium had the same effect with the flowers and patterns on painted walls. Restrooms were done in a cream tile and terrazzo floors.

The Ryan Theatre closed in the early-1970’s and now the building is completely modernized and retail space occupies the lobby and auditorium. As a movie theatre it was operated by Motor City Theatres.

Contributed by Chuck Van Bibber

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

gaily on March 7, 2005 at 9:42 am

I lived in back of this theatre my entire life. The parking lot was huge and the theatre had an “art deco” look. The theatre closed after a neighborhood kid started a fire inside the building (while it was closed).

kencmcintyre on August 31, 2007 at 6:35 pm

The Ryan was part of the Schulte circuit in the early sixties.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 5, 2011 at 10:53 pm

Various publications of the AIA, as well as most other sources, spell the architect’s first name as Talmage, without the “d.” The name is spelled correctly in the introduction to Cinema Treasures' Rapids Theatre page, but not in the architect field.

graymatters on April 18, 2021 at 11:05 am

The massive Ryan Theatre was located at 22884 Ryan Road in Warren, Michigan. The theater seated 1,400 patrons and had a 500-car parking lot, and was a lengthy project. My grandfather Albert S. “Al” Johnson built the theater. I’ve uploaded eleven several color Kodachrome slides that Al shot during its construction.

Two of my grandfather’s color slides, stamped by the developer in August 1948, show the theater with its walls raised and partially bricked over, and the steel rafters in place. Opening night was another sixteen months away on December 28, 1949.

Al Johnson shot the remaining nine slides in December 1949 just before the theatre opened. One image shows the marquee proclaiming “Watch Grand Opening Soon… Most Beautiful Theatre in All Michigan.” The entrance features four pairs of natural color “Johnson doors” with matching half-moon glass and elaborate push bars. Al Johnson held a patent on this style of doors, and they were used in several of his theater jobs.

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