Empress Theatre

Address: 540 Woodward Avenue
City: Detroit
State: MI
County: Wayne
Owner History:
Number of visits to this page: 8295
Info Updates:
6/26/2014 - bob stoll
I was in the USCG, stationed on the CGC Mackinaw in 1964, there was a CG reserve comic named John Ory, who worked at the Empress Theatre, doing a 6 month tour of duty on the CGC Mackinaw, the Mackinaw was breaking ice on the lakes, we happened to end up in Detroit, John took me to the theatre, and a bar close to the theatre where I was introduced to a comic he worked with. I lost track of John Ory, he sent me a letter after he finished his tour dated Apri l1964. He stated in his letter that the work policy was the same, 44 shows per week. Anyway it would be great to locate John, through an email address or phone no.
9/9/2012 - Jim Fahlstedt
Ah yes, the Empress! Probably no burlesque theater anywhere is missed more by its fans than this smallish place on Woodward. They always had the full deal. A tenor, a talking woman, the candy butcher and the two comedians, usually old-timers Yakum-Yakum and Art. Real old fashioned burlesque. I knew the manager (his name escapes me), so I would drop in to visit when I was in Detroit. I was backstage with him one day when Sandy O'Hara was the headliner. He introduced us as she was coming off stage. She planted a big sloppy kiss on my cheek. The fact that she naked as the day she was born made that quite a thrill for a teenager.
11/24/2009 - Kathy
The R.L. Polk Detroit City Directory, 1922. lists the address as 540 Woodward Avenue.
4/8/2007 - AW Fox
To be more specific on location, the Empress was located on the southeast corner of Woodward Ave. and Congress St. which is now the site of Comerica Tower (built in 1993). Portions of the Vinton Building and First National Buildings, both of which are still standing, can be seen on the far left of the photo.
11/6/2006 - JerryD
I know the Empress Theatre was located on Woodward Ave., near Jefferson, during my time in Detroit, it was always a Burlesque house. Could have been the Avenue Theatre in its earlier life.
Empress Theatre - OLD PHOTO
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