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Madison Theatre

2001 Photo from the Adam Martin collection.
22 Witherell St
Detroit MI

Record #12659  
 Opened: March 7, 1917
 Closed: 1983
 Current Use:
Capacity: 1806 seats
Architect(s): C Howard Crane
Architectural Style(s):
National Register:
Current Organ: none
 Also Known As:
 Previously operated by: ABC Michigan Theatres

The Madison opened on March 7, 1917, with The Poor Little Rich Girl. The $500,000 construction project was completed in six months. The top floor of the building was home to the Kunsky circuit's offices.

Under the operation of United Detroit Theaters, the Madison was the first in the area to show a 3D film, Bwana Devil, in 1952. The theater was also one of the first in the area with 70mm capabilities, showing Spartacus in 1960. The Madison successfully played roadshow features in 70mm, including a 22-month run of The Sound of Music.

The theater closed briefly in 1980, reopening with a double feature of All That Jazz and The Rose, and continued to operated until 1983. The last shows, The Dead Zone and The Keep, remained on the marquee for years before the building was briefly used for concerts.

In January 1985, pipes in the theater burst, flooding water all the way out to the sidewalk. The theater was eventually purchased by the Michigan Opera Theater with plans for a rehearsal hall.

 Photos remain the property of the Member and may not be reproduced without the written consent of the Member.

July 2001 photos from the Adam Martin collection.

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Photos from the Andrew Foot collection.

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The Madison Theatre ...


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Last featured 3/8/2005. Last edited 11/25/2009.

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