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Main Art Theatre

Address: 118 N Main St
City: Royal Oak State: MI Zip: 48037 Phone: (248) 542-0180  
County: Oakland
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Open: Closed: Capacity:    
Owner: Landmark Theatres
Web Address: N/A
Number of visits to this page since Sept 2013: 4400

3/14/2016 - John Krautner
In 1983, My mother took us kids to go see PSYCHO II, probably because she couldn't find a babysitter. The Main theater at that time was just one big theater. My mother was holding my newborn baby sister which made for an awkward seating situation. The theater manager invited us up to a viewing room upstairs which was a dimly lit, bricked walled, enclosed space with a viewing window right next to the projector room. I remember green paint on the walls with a special external speaker providing the sound.

33 years later. I had a dream that reminded me of this moment. It made me wonder if that room was still there. I made a call to a friend of mine that works at the theater and was given a little tour.

The inside of the lobby has for the most part, looked the same as I remember. I was taken upstairs where the viewing room would have been only to see a long room with three updated projectors showing three films simultaneously. Then I noticed a steel shelf with parts, empty film reels, and odds and ends stacked upon it. It stood against a familiar brick wall that was now painted grey.

Behind the shelf was a painted board blocking what was likely the window through which I saw PSYCHO II as a boy. I was satisfied after I saw that, confirming my memory as clear and truthful. I was hoping to also see the original pistachio green 70's paint, however, the room was well covered with grey paint. On my way back downstairs, I noticed that the edge of one of the brick walls, was not covered by grey paint and was indeed the 70's green paint that I remember.

Its as if the painters wanted to leave a remeinder of what was. and what now remains.
2/24/2010 - John Zarro
Though I was only six years old at the time, I vividly remember the exact date of attending the Main with my parents and little brother to see a Walt Disney classic film. That Sunday turned out to be one of those days etched in a person''s memory, forever associated with some other event of momentous proportion. The date was December 7, 1941. The news was unannounced to the Main''s audience but, upon leaving the theater we learned that while we watched Fantasia, Pearl Harbor was being attacked and our country was at war.

3/1/2007 - David losey
Mae & Jack Krass opened the Main in the 1940s it was built using blueprints mirror image of the Arc theater in Detroit which they also owned I worked as an usher at the Main from 1969-1972 I have lots of memories including washing the light bulbs on the marquee & going to the Detroit Edison store for free replacement bulbs.
10/3/2005 - Detroit News
Tuesday, September 27, 2005 Main Art Theatre running out of time to find new home Developer searching for options for the art house that will be razed for lofts in a few years. By Maureen Feighan / The Detroit News ROYAL OAK -- The Main Art Theatre, a beloved showcase of independent and art films in Metro Detroit, is in need of a new home. The 1940s theater, run by Landmark Theatres but in a building owned by Chicago-based developer Joseph Freed and Associates LLC, is scheduled for demolition to make way for part of a $120 million loft and retail project called Main North at East 11 Mile and Main. Plans call for replacing it with a 12-story loft tower. Demolition is still years away, and in the meantime a Freed official said the company is absolutely committed to finding a new location for the theater.

But at least one Royal Oak official who has been working with Freed to find a new site worries they may be running out of options, especially after the City Commission last week rejected an idea that wouldve allowed developers, including Freed, to offer bids to buy and develop the City Hall and adjacent property. There are only so many opportunities and so many locations you can consider, said Planning Director Tim Thwing. I dont have anywhere to send them. Phyllis Salter, a fan of the Main Theatre, said losing the theater would be a tremendous loss to Royal Oak.

Its just such a special theater and people really enjoy it, she said. Its a warmer, more human building and a lot of people who go there have things in common. The theater was built in the early 1940s as a single-screen movie theater and was added onto in the early 1990s, Thwing said. It now has three screens and has often been voted Best Place to see an Independent Film and Best Art Movie House in local papers.

Ed Connell, director of development for Joseph Freed, said originally the company intended to build a new site for the theater in the north tower of its Main North project, but that plan failed. Connell said what Landmark has envisioned is a theater with six or seven screens, a bar and a cafe. It would be modeled after a theater in Dallas called The Magnolia. Chene Koppitz, who managed the Main Art and Maple Art Theatre for seven years, said Freed has 10 years left of a 20-year lease with Landmark for Main Art.

3/28/2005 - Dave in MD
I remeber the Main showing mostly Disney films in the early 1970s, when I was a child.
12/18/2003 - Box Office Magazine
April 1959 - James Sigler, fomerly of the Berkley Theatre, is now assistant manager of the Main in Royal Oak, succeeding Fred Moore.
Main Art Theatre - RECENT PIC
Main Art Theatre - RECENT PIC
Main Art Theatre - INTERIOR PIC
Main Art Theatre - MARQUEE CLOSEUP

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