Duke Theatre

10060 W. 8-Mile Road,
Oak Park, MI 48220

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Wisper-Wetsman Theaters

Architects: Charles N. Agree

Styles: Streamline Moderne

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Duke Theatre

The Duke Theatre was named for jazz great Duke Ellington and was part of the Wisper-Westman circuit, seating about 1,500. It was designed by Charles N. Agree in late-Streamline Moderne style.

Though construction was planned before America’s entry into World War II in 1941, construction did not actually get underway until 1946, and the $300,000 theatre finally opened on May 2, 1947 with Richard Dix in “The Thirteenth Hour” & Kay Francis in “Wife Wanted”.

By this time, however, the television era was beginning, unfortunately for the Duke Theatre, which lasted less than six years before Wisper-Wetsman closed it due to rapidly declining attendance.

Later gutted and used as the Starlite Lanes bowling alley and later a heating & cooling business, the building stood vacant for years. It was demolished in August 2010.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 7 comments)

sdoerr on February 9, 2004 at 9:42 pm

Bryan can you verify? I think it is still open : View link

Gideon on July 13, 2004 at 5:39 pm

Although it was empty, that building was still there as of six months ago. I live not too far from it.

JohnMLauter on March 17, 2010 at 9:38 pm

the boards covering the marquee attraction panels have some off, you can see the later enameled panels from when the building was a bowling alley now. It’s abandoned, and like everything else in the area, is probably picked clean of any metal.

RickB on August 11, 2010 at 9:33 pm

Early 2010 pictures here.

RickB on September 4, 2010 at 10:26 pm

Make this one Closed/Demolished; it came down in August 2010. Demolition pictures here.
The building housed a heating and cooling business after the bowling alley closed.

CSWalczak on September 11, 2012 at 5:35 pm

This webpage has pictures and other notes about the Duke.

dallasmovietheaters on January 25, 2021 at 8:43 pm

Tthe Duke Theatre launched May 2, 1947 with “13th Hour” and “Wife Wanted.”

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