6 Mile Theatre

16533 Woodward Avenue,
Highland Park, MI 48203

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Keith-Albee, RKO

Architects: Anker Sverre Graven, Arthur Guy Mayger, Percival Raymond Pereira

Firms: Graven & Mayger

Previous Names: Keith-Albee Uptown Theatre, RKO Uptown Theatre, 6 Mile Uptown Theatre

Nearby Theaters

6 Mile Theatre

Located in the Highland Park district of Detroit. The Keith-Albee Uptown Theatre was opened on March 7, 1927 for Keith-Albee, the 3,500-seat Uptown Theatre was designed to as a sister theatre to the downtown Oriental Theatre. The opening movie was “Getting Gertie’s Garter” starring Marie Prevost plus 5-acts of Keith-Albee vaudeville.

It was originally a venue for vaudeville, but later switched to movies and contained a large organ. The Uptown Theatre was, like the Oriental Theatre, designed by architect of Percival R. Periera.

Renamed the 6 Mile Uptown Theatre (for its location at Woodward Avenue and 6 Mile Road in Highland Park) in 1954, the Uptown Part of the name was dropped five years later.

Starting in the early-1970’s, it switched from movies to live strip shows, and later that decade, pornographic films.

After it closed in 1980, plans were laid to convert the 6 Mile Theatre into a playhouse called the Eighties. However, this idea came to naught, since it was razed by the late-1980’s.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

brian74 on June 4, 2004 at 12:37 pm

I saw “Bambi” there as a kid. I remember seeing “Hell Angels on Wheels” there as well, that was in the 60’s when motorcycle movies were popular. Now the structure houses an adult bookstore.

Bluie on October 3, 2004 at 12:39 pm

Your thumbnail isn’t certain about the seating capacity of (what we called in my youth) the RKO Uptown. By comparison to another theatre in Highland Park, the Tuxedo, which you seem definite about having an 1800-seat auditorium, I will tell you that the Uptown was very significantly larger. If your figure for the Tux is valid, then I’ll bet the Uptown handily exceeded 2000 seats.

spectrum on September 15, 2007 at 7:00 pm

According to the Theatre Historical Society’s list of largest movie palaces, the RKO Uptown had 2,922 seats. Their list indicates the auditorium was demolpshed, indicating the rest of the building survives.It had a Wurlitzer organ installed.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 16, 2012 at 6:26 am

The RKO Uptown/Six Mile Theatre, built in 1927, had to have been designed by Percival Pereira, who had been practicing architecture in Detroit for many years. Percival Pereira was never a member of the firm of Pereira & Pereira, which was founded in 1931 by brothers William and Hal Pereira. The brothers had nothing to do with the design of this theater.

rivest266 on November 3, 2015 at 5:21 pm

March 6th, 1927 grand opening ad in photo section.

bradh1961 on October 2, 2019 at 7:53 am

I lived at Six Mile & Woodward Avenue in the 1983 when the nearby Uptown Theater was closed and slated for demolition. During demolition I snuck inside and was able to “rescue” or “salvage” or in plain words, steal an art deco wall sconce which I’ve had displayed in my New York City apartment for the last twenty years. I’ve a particular love for old theaters and salvaging bits of neon and signage before they disappear. In addition to this sconce I have the “Now Playing” neon from the Esquire Theater in Toledo and the neon “O” from the Avalon Theater in Toledo.

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