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Colonial Theatre

Address: 2615 Woodward Ave
City: Detroit State: MI Zip: Phone:  
County: Wayne
View on Google Maps  
Open: 1917   Capacity: 1566  
Owner: Cohen Bros.
Number of visits to this page since Sept 2013: 4394

11/18/2013 - Brian Blumfield
When my father applied for his social security card in 1937, the place of his employment listed on his application was the Colonial Theater. He was 15 years old at the time. Probably his first job.
10/2/2009 - Bob Simmons
My friends and I used to go to the movies at the Colonial in the mid 60''s, during the summers when I was in my late teens. The theater was a bit seedy and in decline at the time. The theater was open 24 hours a day every day of the week and would show triple features continuously. Being near to the skid row area around the Masonic Temple, the Colonial had many patrons who came mainly for the chance to get some sleep. The admission was 60 cents (to the best of my memory).

I used to go on Wednesday late in the afternoon, watch the triple feature. Then, at midnight, the theater would switch to the next week''s triple feature, so I would see another three movies and leave early Thursday morning. Around 2 am the janitor would wake everyone up on one side of the theater and ask them to move to the other side so he could sweep up, About a half hour later everyone would be moved to the other side for the same reason. The restrooms were upstairs and there always was a crowd of people hanging out up on the second floor.

I was always a bit nervous going up there to use the bathroom.
10/30/2007 - Marshall
I first broke in at the Colonial when I was an apprentice for local 199 of the projectionists union. We ran 24 hours a day. The thing that stands out most in my mind is that early in the morning, the janitor would move all the people in the audience from the right side of the theater to the left side so he could clean. Then he would move them all back to the right side so he could clean the left. We would periodically shut down for maintenance every couple weeks at the end of the midnight shift.

Once they found a dead guy in the audience - natural causes I assume. Quite an experience working there. You could go out onto the roof from the projection booth and look down at Woodward Avenue. That''s where I watched thee 1968 Tiger world series celebration - from the roof of the Colonial!.

1/11/2004 - Cinema Treasures
The Colonial, which was, like so many other Detroit theaters, a work of C. Howard Crane, was opened in 1917, and originally could seat 1566 in its auditorium. The Colonial had both vaudeville acts and motion pictures on its program in its early days, but soon switched to movies-only. It was first owned, like the huge Hollywood Theatre, by the Cohen Brothers, and its original plans called for a nearly-3000 seat palace, with over 200 box seats. The Colonial was operated by Midwest Theaters from the 50s on, and operated into the mid-70s.

Not long after it closed its doors, it was razed. Cinema Treasures Link.
1/10/2004 - Box Office Magazine
August 1958 Issue - Mike Colton, longtime operator at the Colonial, has entered Mount Sinai Hospital for observation, with Pearce Bradley of the Gayety pinch-hitting for him.
12/18/2003 - Box Office Magazine
July 1959 - Fred Newman, formerly operator of the Dawn, is swing shift man between the Colonial and the Booker T.
Colonial Theatre - NOW AN EMPTY LOT
Colonial Theatre - OLD AD

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