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Beacon East Cinemas

Address: 19305 Vernier Rd
City: Harper Woods State: MI Zip: 48225 Phone: (313) 882-7500  
County: Wayne
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Open: Closed: 2006 Capacity:    
Owner: National Amusements / Redstone
Web Address: N/A
Number of visits to this page since Sept 2013: 5503

8/26/2012 - D. FISCHER
I graduated from high school in 1970 and I know this was open at that time. I remember seeing a movie with Beau Bridges as the star. Can't remember the name of the movie. This was state of the art at the time.

2/12/2012 - Brad Cook
The theatre opened in June of 1973. I worked there from then 'till 1978. The theatre was owened by Robert Vickery and Gabe Anton of Mt Clemens and was sold to Redstone Management I believe in 1977. I have many menories of the days I managed this theatre. I had a great staff that worked very hard and we all love the place as if it was our own.

I hope everyone that worked for me is doing well and miss the Beacon East as much as I do.
10/7/2010 - Eileen Trombley Glick
One of my Detroit Memories visitors believes this theater opened around 1968.
5/17/2010 - Unknown
Auditorium Seat Count (circa 2006): 1-306, 2-337, 3-309, 4-182Seats in auditoriums 1-3 relocated from Showcase Cinemas Auburn Hills in 1999.
8/26/2009 - jt
The former Beacon East Cinemas is now known as Wayne County Community College Districts University Square Campus, which is now open for the fall semester.
10/3/2008 - Scott Biggs
Hello,There is an article that confirms the plans for the former Beacon East Theaters at this link:http://www. candgnews. com/Homepage-Articles/2008/8-6-08/DG-WCCC. aspDrivers along Eight Mile can see a sign that announces Wayne County Community College’s takeover of the vacant building that once was a popular local theater. From movie house to school house Wayne County Community College gets ready to open new location’s doors this fallBy April LehmbeckC & G Staff WriterHARPER WOODS — People who remember heading over to the Beacon East theater will soon be able to go there for a different type of experience — a learning one.

The former theater site, located on Vernier Road, is currently being renovated by a company that entered into a long-term lease agreement with Wayne County Community College for its new University Square. The college plans to move its east-side base of operations out of the Harper Woods Secondary School down the road from the theater to the new University Square. “They have gutted the whole inside,” WCCC Vice Chancellor for Administration Michael Dotson said. The renovations include leveling the floors, getting rid of the theater-style seating, and working on things such as the heating and cooling system.

“From the walls in, they are completely rebuilding everything,” Dotson said. Dotson said opening the doors for fall classes is what they are shooting for at the new facility. “They’re going to be ready,” he said. The new facility will have two technology labs, one for standard computer applications and another that offers high-tech use.

There will also be an instructional auditorium for large classes that has an interactive television system for communication throughout the WCCC district. Besides educational opportunities, this type of setup “offers a lot of professional development training” ability, Dotson said. Students will have a common area for studying or grabbing a snack from the vending machines. There also will be conference and office space.

The building will be capable of handling the district’s current load with a lot of parking space. “It’s a very large corner lot there,” Dotson said. “Definitely capable of future expansion as need arises. “It looked like this was a really good fit,” he said of the theater site.

The college decided to move because its east-side enrollment has grown over the years and they always had the thought that they would move into their own facility someday. There were more than 900 students during the last term and holding classes in the secondary school does come with limitations as far as times that they can hold classes and securing classrooms, Dotson said. “The enrollment has just grown exponentially,” Dotson said. “It’s amazing,” he said of that growth.

“It’s really just scratching the surface. ” Although they’re moving out of the secondary school, they are still working with the high school on a dual enrollment for students who want to take courses for college credit while in high school. That will still be held at the secondary school, so students don’t have to leave the building for these classes. Also, Dotson said the college plans to start offering the dual-enrollment opportunity to Grosse Pointe students in the next year.

Harper Woods Mayor Ken Poynter is pleased with the plans for the new facility. “I believe that University Square will be a dynamic learning facility for our area,” Harper Woods Mayor Ken Poynter said. “Forming partnerships with other institutions will provide students with many options. “For example, it will be possible for a student to get an entire K-16 education within the Harper Woods, Grosse Pointes, northeast Detroit area,” he said.

“What a fantastic opportunity for the future. The city of Harper Woods applauds WCCCD for its educational vision and leadership. ”College officials recently brought their plans to a Grosse Pointe Farms council meeting in July. “If you have an active program that’s succeeding, you will have strong support from the Grosse Pointes,” Grosse Pointe Farms Council member Doug Roby said, adding that it is “encouraging to hear” about their programs with adult education and high school students.

7/13/2008 - Chris
According to a building permit on one of the doors, it appears that the Beacon East is being converted into a campus for Wayne County Community College. Again, this in unconfirmed.
5/24/2008 - Scott Biggs
Demolition of the interior of the interior of the building has begun during the past few days. We noticed workers hauling debris out of the building on a drive past the theater yesterday on our way to the Eastland Mall. Two dumpsters full of drywall, lumber and other materials were found on a visit to the theater parking lot last night. There were a few green theater seats that you would typically find in NA theaters that were built during that era, laying on the ground by the front entrance. I looked inside through the front windows, and the lobby and the theaters have been completely gutted in preparation for whatever business is going to be moving into the former theater building.

We rescued a red exit sign that was laying on the ground on the side of the building, as a souvenir to remember the theater by.
9/8/2006 - Theater Lover
Beacon East closed for good at end of Business Monday, September 4, 2006.
Beacon East Cinemas - FRONT ENTRANCE
Beacon East Cinemas - FROM PARKING LOT
Beacon East Cinemas - SIDE OF BUILDING
Beacon East Cinemas - MARQUEE

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