Landmark Main Art Theatre

118 N. Main Street,
Royal Oak, MI 48067

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Landmark Theatres (USA), MJR Theatres

Architects: Lavern R. Bennett, Eugene D. Straight

Firms: Bennett & Straight

Styles: Art Deco

Previous Names: Main Theatre

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News About This Theater

Main Art Theater Auditorium

Located in the Royal Oak district of Detroit on N. Main Street at East 11 Mile Road. The Main Theatre opened on August 7, 1941 with 800 seats, and was operated for many years by Robert Anthony.

It was twinned in 1983, with seating for 340 and 290. It became a triple screen on October 15, 1993 and was renamed Landmark Main Art Theatre. It remains a popular movie house showing independent, foreign, and classic films. It was closed on March 16, 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Later reopened in was closed ‘temporary’ on April 23, 2021. It was announced on June 13, 2021 that the closure would be permanent. It was demolished on July 25, 2022.

Contributed by Dennis Lewis

Recent comments (view all 20 comments)

Mark_L on September 8, 2010 at 9:07 pm

I saw SHORT CUTS at this theatre in November, 1993 in 70mm. I missed by one day a 70mm screening of BARAKA in one of the other 2 theatres.

Later, the same day, I saw GETTYSBURG at a different Detroit theatre, making for an almost 8-hour 70mm day! Don’t think that will ever happen again!

JackCoursey on February 5, 2011 at 10:43 pm

A very nice venue; had some trepidation going in thinking that the original auditorium had been altered but was pleasantly surprised to see it still intact. Two smaller and less decorative auditoria were built on in the later 1980s. Flicks from 2010: Lobby, Facade

RickB on February 20, 2012 at 11:31 pm

Blogger Detroit Funk says that this theatre was threatened with demolition to make room for a condo project, but the deal has fallen through. He has marquee and lobby pictures (the last one is a really nice under-the-marquee shot) here.

Fulby95 on May 15, 2012 at 8:00 pm

Here’s a little-known fact on this theater: In 1980, it became the very first theater in the MJR chain.

facesthen on July 5, 2013 at 12:33 am

A seminal experience in my movie going, from 1957-1963 I went to Saturday matinees where horror and sci fi films like THE BLOB, I WAS A TEENAGE WEREWOLF, I MARRIED A MONSTER FROM OUTER SPACE, INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS and so many others inflamed my young imagination. Those “shape changers” were particularly scary.

MindOfAToy on January 9, 2020 at 8:44 am

According to a Detroit Free Press article, this theater reopened as the Main Art Theatre on Oct. 15, 1993 and went through $950,000 renovation via a partnership between Mike Mihalich (who owns MJR Theatres) and Landmark Theatres.

It was a second-run house prior to that. Screen counts are 516, 390, and 200. A 37-ft screen is in auditorium 1, while 2 and 3 have 35-ft screens.

The three movies that premiered on Oct. 15 were “Like Water For Chocolate”, “Bad Behaviour”, and “Especially On Sunday”.

dallasmovietheaters on June 13, 2021 at 7:14 pm

Landmark Theatres Circuit announced that the theatre had closed temporarily on April 23, 2021 and then announced on June 13, 2021 that the closure would be permanent at the end of a leasing agreement after an 80-year run.

moax429 on November 26, 2021 at 5:18 pm

I made a return visit to Royal Oak a few weeks ago (I now live in Charlotte) and figured this theater closed, since I saw a homeless man sleeping by the door outside. Now what I just read here confirms it. Shame.

Among the films I saw at the Main Art were: “JFK” (1991) “Driving Miss Daisy” (1990; rereleased as part of Warner Bros.‘ 75th anniversary celebration in 1998) “The Big Chill” (1983; rereleased in 1998 for the film’s 15th anniversary) “A Hard Day’s Night” (1964; 1999 Miramax rerelease with restored mono soundtrack) “Topsy Turvy”(2000)

RIP, Main Art. You will be missed

MindOfAToy on July 26, 2022 at 12:30 pm

As of yesterday, this theater has been demolished. The landlord would not entertain offers to buy the property or to lease the space and has decided to build mixed use (condos/retail/offices) at the location. Despite attempts to save it via a non-profit group, the Royal Oak City Planning and City Commission approved its demolition.

moax429 on June 25, 2023 at 9:32 pm

Went through Royal Oak to visit some friends this afternoon. I couldn’t believe the Main Art has been totally demolished. What looks like an apartment complex is now being built on that site.

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