Detroit: A City on the Rise: Entertainment
So instead of Belle Isle this week, the entertainment district is the focus this week. What’s a good meal without entertainment right? Well, you would be surprised as to what Detroit has to offer for entertainment. Did you know that Detroit has the second largest theatre district in the country? I bet that comes as a big surprise but actually it makes a lot of sense.
Detroit has the Fox Theatre, Fillmore Theatre, Detroit Opera House, Gem Theatre, Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts, Harmonie Club, Harmonie Centre, Greektown Casino Theatre, and City Theatre. There are many more theatres located outside of Downtown that are still active and also some that are awaiting redevelopment, have been demolished, reused for a different purpose or are slated for demolition.
You can also consider the sports teams a part of the entertainment in the city too. We have the Detroit Red Wings of the National Hockey League, Detroit Tigers of Major League Baseball and the Detroit Lions of the National Football League that all play downtown.
To start, the Fox Theatre is located on 2211 Woodward Ave. It opened in 1928 and was designed by C. Howard Crane. It has a mix of many different architectural styles and is on the National Register of Historic Places. It was the first movie palace in the world to have sound systems for films. It is the largest theatre in Detroit with 5,048 seats and is also the largest surviving movie palace of the 1920s. It also has a 10 story office building adjacent to the theatre that houses Olympia Entertainment, Illitch Holdings, and Little Caesars Pizza. Olympia Entertainment also owns Joe Louis Arena, Comerica Park, City Theatre, and Hockeytown Café (Both adjacent to the Fox). The Fox hosts plays of all kinds, musicals and shows.
The Detroit Red Wings currently play at Joe Louis Arena, located at 600 Civic Center Drive, directly next to Cobo Center and the Detroit River, on the edge of downtown. It is currently owned and operated by Olympia Entertainment, owned by Mike Illitch, founder of Little Caesars Pizza. Building began in 1977 and finished in 1979. The first game was played on December 27, 1979. It is the second oldest venue in the NHL still operating. As of now Mike Illitch is looking to build a new arena for the Red Wings as “The Joe” becomes more outdated.
The Detroit Tigers play at Comerica Park, located directly across the street from the Fox Theatre at 2100 Woodward Ave. The ballpark is an open-air stadium which means there is now roof and has a great view of Downtown. Building began in 1997 and was finished in 2000. The first game was played on April 11, 2000 and is owned by Illitch Holdings.
City Theatre is located inside The Hockeytown Café, directly next to the Fox Theatre and holds small plays. It only has a capacity of 500 people and is located at 2301 Woodward Ave. It opened in 2004 and hosts small concerts, comedy shows and small plays. You can find all the information on all of these venues at www.olympiaentertainment.com
The Fillmore Theatre is located one block south of the Fox Theatre at 2115 Woodward Ave. It was formerly known as the State Theatre, and before that the Palms Theatre before Live Nation bought the building and renamed it. It was built in 1925 and has a capacity of 2,200 people. It hosts concerts, shows and plays. To find all the information on the Fillmore and shows that are playing go to Wikipedia and search The Fillmore Detroit.
Detroit has a great entertainment district and we have only scratched the surface of what is available downtown. The fun is there for you, it may not be publicized as much as it should be or as well know, but I promise that if you go looking for it, you won’t be disappointed. In next week’s issue we will look at the company of Quicken Loans, the owner Dan Gilbert and what he is doing to help revitalize the city and downtown.
Feel free to check out my other articles at http://michiganjournal.org/