Emsee Theatre

67 Cass Avenue,
Mount Clemens, MI 48043

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Additional Info

Architects: Talmage C. Hughes

Styles: Streamline Moderne

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Emsee Theatre

It was built into the mezzanine and first floor of the Daily Monitor-Leader Building, which had been designed by architects Weston & Ellington. The Emsee Theatre opened in August 1946. Seating was provided for 787 in the orchestra level and 276 in the balcony level.

Operating mainly as a second run theatre, it was always independently operated and was closed in 1959. The nine floor building it was in, is now called the Price Building, and lays abandoned.

Contributed by Nick Sortzi

Recent comments (view all 3 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 7, 2009 at 2:12 am

Boxoffice usually misspelled this theater’s name as Emcee instead of the Emsee that clearly appears on the marquee.

The August 17, 1946, issue of Boxoffice reported that the Emsee Theatre had opened on August 10. Though an earlier Boxoffice report of its construction said it would have 900 seats, the opening announcement said there were 1,062 seats. The Emsee was originally operated under lease by Roy A. Shook. The March 10, 1958, issue of Boxoffice said: “The Emcee Theatre at Mount Clemens is switching to an art film policy and being rechristened the Emcee Art Theatre.” The house was then run by Robert Vickrey’s R&V Theatres.

appronkeel on February 5, 2016 at 4:24 pm

I remember seeing the “Long Long Trailer” with Lucille Ball and Desi Arnez at the Emsee when I was a kid. It seems to me that it was Called the “Cass Theatre” then.

graymatters on April 18, 2021 at 9:28 am

My grandfather’s Michigan theater jobs slide collection includes a street view of the Emsee Theatre at 67 Cass Avenue in Mount Clemens. “Em-see” sounds like “M.C.” for Mount Clemens, get it?

Albert S. “Al” Johnson, founder of the Johnson Construction Company which built the theater, shot the slide in September 1948 with “The Bishop’s Wife” and “Kings of the Olympus” on the marquee. Although the marquee is of a style more typical of the late 1930s or early 40s, the Box Office magazine said it opened in 1946 (see overview above).

Another nice feature of Al’s 1948 color slide is a bright red New Era delivery van parked in front. The New Era “Scientifically Processed” Potato Chips were a Detroit-based product which were sold in round yellow tins. I’ve uploaded a copy of the slide to this page.

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