Quo Vadis Entertainment Center
7420 Wayne Road,
9 people favorited this theater
Firms: Yamasaki and Associates
Previous Names: Quo Vadis Theater, Penthouse 1 & 2
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News About This Theater
- May 26, 2011 — Former American Theater in Troy may become City Council chamber
- Jan 22, 2009 — More time to revive Westland theater site?
- Feb 15, 2008 — Teens lose their bid to save Quo Vadis
- Nov 30, 2007 — The Quo Vadis Preservation Foundation needs your help
This unusual 1960’s-era movie palace, designed by the firm of Yamasaki and Associates, was built for the Wayne Amusement Company, opening June 22, 1966. Its steel-and-glass boxy shape was typical Modernist architecture, but inside, as its name might imply, it carried a Roman Empire theme.
The original 1,200-seat auditorium opened with the Doris Day comedy "The Glass Bottom Boat".
In early-1968, two tiny auditoriums opened on the second floor, which had been originally designed as a sprawling restaurant. These were called the Penthouse 1 & 2. A small restaurant and bar was also opened upstairs.
An unusual feature was that while customers ate, they could wear headphones and view the movie on the screen of the nearby Algiers Drive-In through a large plate-glass window.
The Quo Vadis' owners announced in 1969 plans for a third story, which would house a "rooftop-garden" theater seating over 1,000 and featuring a beer garden. However, this was never actually built.
In 1970, the original main auditorium was twinned, seating about 540 each. Later in the 1970’s, one of these 540-seat auditoriums was itself twinned. The Over 21 restaurant was closed in the early-1980’s and converted into yet another auditorium.
In 1986, the Quo Vadis Entertainment Center, as it was by then renamed, was purchased by National Amusements, who continued to operate it as a multiplex.
It closed in January of 2002, with "Harry Potter", "Ali" and "Vanilla Sky" the last movies on its marquee.
Half of the seats were removed and are in use at another theater and church. The city proposed a Cultural Center, but nothing happened, and the theatre stood with a ‘for sale’ sign.
It was demolished in April 2011.
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