Showcase Cinemas Dearborn

24105 Michigan Avenue,
Dearborn, MI 48124

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: National Amusements, Wayne Amusements, Wisper-Wetsman Theaters

Architects: Charles N. Agree

Previous Names: Dearborn Theatre

Nearby Theaters

Dearborn Theatre original exterior

Opened May 2, 1941 as the Dearborn Theatre, this Charles N. Agree-designed movie house could originally seat 1,498, all on a single sloping floor. The Dearborn Theatre was a smaller version (around 1,000 less seats) of Agree’s Royal Theatre, which opened in Detroit less than half a year earlier. Both were designed in bold Streamline Moderne style, and like the Royal Theatre, the Dearborn Theatre contained a small stage, but had no dressing rooms or orchestra pit. The Dearborn Theatre was run by the Wisper and Wetsman circuit from the time it opened, until 1973, when it was acquired by the Wayne Amusement Company.

In the late-1960’s, a small 300-seat auditorium was added to the theater, called the Dearborn Living Room.

In the 1970’s, a third screen was added to the Dearborn. By this time, it was now called the Dearborn Entertainment Center. It was also one of the first theaters in the state of Michigan to serve alcohol, along with Wayne Amusement’s Quo Vadis.

In the 1980’s, the original nearly 1,500-seat auditorium was carved into four smaller auditoriums, and in 1986, the complex was sold to National Amusements. During its six-year operation of the Dearborn, National Amusements added yet another three screens. In 1992 it was renamed Showcase Cinemas Dearborn. Though a bit frayed around the edges, the Dearborn remained a popular venue for seeing the latest first-run films.

It was closed September 4, 2006 and was demolished in spring of 2010.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 13 comments)

jcholmes on May 4, 2008 at 2:18 am

Ray B –

Showcase Cinemas NA is owned wholey by National Amusements, which is owned primarily by Sumner and Shari Redstone (That is important to note as they have not agreed in years, and Sumner is trying to buy her out). National Amusements is considered the Parent company of Viacom, as it is the largest corporate share holder, and third largest, with Shari and Sumner holding the second and first largest shares (respectively) of Viacom.

CSWalczak on November 8, 2009 at 9:28 am

Yes, that’s it – as it looked then. Here’s a link to a site that has two pictures of what it looked like after closing (scroll down to see them. View link

Status should be closed.

sdoerr on February 12, 2010 at 6:55 pm

Demolition underway, currently interior demo

kencmcintyre on April 1, 2010 at 1:14 am

Here is another photo. Did they finish demolishing this theater?

Scott Neff
Scott Neff on June 18, 2010 at 5:52 am

This theatre was recently demolished.

detroitmi97 on June 20, 2010 at 4:52 pm

Here are pictures of showcase cinemas the inside,demo.
View link
View link
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View link

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on September 6, 2010 at 11:03 pm

Hope someone saved the one sheet frames.

rivest266 on November 6, 2015 at 1:14 am

May 2nd, 1941 grand opening ad in photo section.

rivest266 on November 8, 2015 at 12:41 am

1969 and 1973 grand opening ads in photo section.

CMHurley on April 6, 2016 at 4:42 pm

A Staybridge Suites and Holiday Inn are almost finished being built on the site. There used to be a Wendy’s on the corner next to the theater, and there was talk of a Sonic going in but that never came to fruition.

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