10060 W. 8-Mile Road,
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Previously operated by: Wisper-Wetsman Theaters
Architects: Charles N. Agree
Styles: Streamline Moderne
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.
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