United Artists Theatre

150 Bagley Street,
Detroit, MI 48226

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Showing 1 - 25 of 73 comments

edlambert on October 11, 2023 at 5:52 pm

More regarding the United Artists: The theater’s mezzanine was altered to include a new projection room for the presentation of Todd-AO films, the first being “Oklahoma!.” It had been discovered with the screening of this film in New York that projecting the film at the extreme angle from high at the back of the Rivoli theater resulted in severe keystoning of the image on the screen. “Straight on” projection from the Rivoli’s lower level eliminated this problem and mezzanine placement of the projectors in Detroit was done before the Todd-AO films were screened. “Oklahoma!” was also available in optically corrected prints to compensate for keystoning but this “correction” also somewhat altered the original framing on the film itself, giving us not what the camera originally “saw.” Most cinemas today offer a more “straight on” projection.

edlambert on October 1, 2023 at 5:34 pm

It is reported that the Fox Theatre CinemaScope screen was 74 X 32 feet. This may have been the dimensions before the screen was matted for showings. The first few CinemaScope films had an aspect ratio of 2.66:1. The screen measurement as reported would have allowed only for a 2.31:1 aspect ratio. Not much horizontal masking would have been required, however, to accommodate those earliest ‘scope films.

terrywade on August 18, 2023 at 6:19 am

The Detroit United Artist Theatre was not the first theatre in Detroit to feature Cinemascope. The larger Fox Theatre had the first Cinemascope film ‘The Robe’ on the big wide scope screen. The United Artist Theatre was the fist cinema in Detroit to have the curved TOOD-AO curved screen and later featured D-150. Sitting empty for many years with no one to save her It will now just be a parking lot for the new apartments going into the theatre office tower. Maybe someone will put in some classic nice photos of the old UA Theatre in the new remodeled apartment lobby. I wonder If anyone has photos of the inside when It had the D-150 curved screen with stage curtains?

Trolleyguy on October 12, 2022 at 8:11 am

Sad, considering that downtown Detroit has started to turn the corner. The rehab of the Michigan Central train station is a good example of that.

DavidZornig on October 11, 2022 at 5:39 pm

Link with September 30, 2022 demolition photos.


steelbeard1 on September 30, 2022 at 4:14 pm

While the office building with the lobby is being renovated, the theater itself is being demolished.

EsseXploreR on September 29, 2022 at 7:42 am

A wall has collapsed at the building. I’m guessing this will speed up the expected demolition.

DavidZornig on April 3, 2020 at 9:45 am

Ah, my mistake. It was Mekong.net.


Matt Lambros
Matt Lambros on April 3, 2020 at 8:06 am

David – You’re welcome, but you must have me confused with another photographer re the Granada. I was 7 when it was demolished.

DavidZornig on April 2, 2020 at 4:56 pm

Thank you for posting Matt. Always loved your Granada in Chicago photos.

Matt Lambros
Matt Lambros on April 2, 2020 at 12:53 pm

Just posted about The United Artists on After the Final Curtain It was one of my favorite places to photograph.

DavidZornig on November 2, 2019 at 7:45 pm

Update, of sorts…


Hibi on July 19, 2018 at 1:22 pm

What’s going to happen with the theater itself?

spectrum on January 19, 2018 at 8:25 pm

The link above is glitched in the URL code. But if you copy and paste it into your browser, you’ll get there!

drb on January 12, 2018 at 9:05 pm

The whole building is getting “rehabbed” into residential units with ground level retail.


rivest266 on November 8, 2015 at 5:23 am

April 28th, 1972 grand opening ad as Downtown in photo section.

rivest266 on November 4, 2015 at 3:44 pm

February 3rd, 1928 grand opening ad in photo section.

pnelson on September 22, 2015 at 6:54 pm

Tragedy to let a handsome theatre and building like this get ruined. Must have been wonderful in its youth.

Matthew Prigge
Matthew Prigge on November 11, 2012 at 7:40 pm

If anyone has any stories about going to/ working at this threatre in its adult days, I would love to hear them. I am chronicling the histories of adult theatres in the US. Please contact me at Thanks!

sporridge on January 3, 2011 at 8:29 pm

As seen by Yves Marchand and Romain Meffre, in their book “The Ruins of Detroit”:

View link

CSWalczak on October 9, 2010 at 12:23 pm

A sad picture from the recently published book “Lost Detroit: Stories Behind the Motor City’s Majestic Ruins” by Dan Austin: View link

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on July 6, 2010 at 2:29 pm

Detriot has serious problems in the whole city,sections look like New Orleans they just don’t have the money.

CSWalczak on July 6, 2010 at 2:23 pm

It really is too bad; the theater had its last real shot at restoration in the early 1990s when a private investor took a shot at it. Looking at the facade and what is left of the Michigan just a few doors down is enough to make one cry.

TLSLOEWS on July 6, 2010 at 1:15 pm

Nice newreel footage Tinseltoes.

0123456789 on July 6, 2010 at 12:33 pm

Unfortunatly there is nothing left of this theatre. It was most ornate, and had a mezzane balconly and a large main balcony. The lobby was olval shaped, and the entrance was extravagant. Now every floor of this most ornate building is gone. It will sone be gone to. Also seating 2100 people. Infact this theatre is in such bad condition you can see out. It unfortunatly can not be saved and needs to be torn down.