Keego Theatre

Address: 3040 Orchard Lake Rd
City: Keego Harbor
State: MI
Zip:
County: Oakland
Notes:
Open: 1940
Capacity:
Owner History: Unknown
Number of visits to this page: 12648
Info Updates:
3/8/2021 - Andy Gray
What's the story behind the unusual shallow marquee on the Keego Theatre as seen in the black and white image below? The WaterWinterWonderland explains: "Opened in 1940, the Keego was built in Art Moderne style, with "The Grapes of Wrath" being the first film shown there. In the 70s, it received a new marquee. The original was removed after being damaged by being struck several times by passing trucks once Orchard Lake Road was widened."In the color photo below, taken by my grandfather Al Johnson in 1948, you can see that the original marquee had already been damaged by passing traffic on Orchard Lake Road. Humphrey Bogart's classic film "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre" appears on the marquee. Two sets of red double doors have full octagonal glass in the upper portion - a unique design not seen in images of any other Johnson-built theaters. The Keego Theatre was built by Johnson Construction Company at 3040 Orchard Lake Road in Keego Harbor, Michigan. It closed in June of 1998 and the building was razed not long afterward. The website continues: "Mr. Mansour donated many artifacts from the Keego to the West Bloomfield Historical Society prior to it being demolished, including its Streamline-style vertical sign, its letters outlined with neon lighting."
6/14/2011 - marty
We didn't get to go often, but a trip to the Keego Theater was really something in the very early 50's The Saturday afternoon double feature was something like 15 cents. Memorable movies: Thunder Road with Robert Mitchum and Niagara with Marilyn Monroe. My brother once, during an intense part of a flick, tossed a 'cracker ball' high onto the left side wall. It went off with a modest fireball and a loud 'snap,' and the folks in the crowded theater oohed and aahed Ushers ran around, trying to figure out who dunnit, but to no avail I recall being upset because the price for candy bars, while only a nickel everywhere else, was six cents in the theater Bummer.
1/2/2010 - P,GLAVAN
In the 50''s and 60''s the theater was run by a couple, Mr. and Mrs. Allen. My first job was as an "usherette" in about 1961 or 62. I carried a flashlight and told kids not to put their feet on the seats. Between films, I had to go backstage and raise or lower a large board which made the screen shorter or taller depending on the film. I can still smell the popcorn in the little lobby concession stand.
2/15/2004 - Bryan Kreft - Cinema Treasures
Opened in 1940, the Keego was built in Art Moderne style, with "The Grapes of Wrath" being the first film shown there. In the 70s, it received a new marquee. The original was removed after being damaged by being struck several times by passing trucks once Orchard Lake Road was widened. In 1981, the Keego was sold to new owners, who planned on operating it as a pornographic theater. The city of Keego Harbor advised the new owners that this would violate city laws, but the Keegos new owners took the city to court, and won. The city also lost when the case was taken to the Court of Appeals. Outraged citizens of Keego Harbor began to picket the theater relentlessly after its first X-rated film was shown, and later began to fill up a nearby parking lot used by theater-goers, leaving little other space available for patrons of the Keego. The theaters owner eventually reluctantly gave in to the continuous pressure, and agreed to return to commercial films if the citizens of the city would patronize his theater. The theater was split into two auditoriums in 1984 due to competition from video and nearby multiplexes. However, this was still not enough to keep the Keego profitable, and it eventually closed its doors. In 1997, Al Mansour purchased the Keego and reopened it, again showing second-run features. A year later, however, the property was purchased by a pharmacy chain, and in June of 1998, the Keego closed with two movie classics, "Singin in the Rain" and "Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory". It was razed not long afterward, and the pharmacy built on the site. Mr. Mansour donated many artifacts from the Keego to the West Bloomfield Historical Society prior to it being demolished, including its Streamline-style vertical sign, its letters outlined with neon lighting.
 Photos:13
Keego Theatre - COURTESY AL JOHNSON
COURTESY AL JOHNSON
Keego Theatre - FRONT OF BUILDING
FRONT OF BUILDING
Keego Theatre - OLD POST CARD SHOT
OLD POST CARD SHOT
Keego Theatre - OLD PICTURE
OLD PICTURE
Keego Theatre - OLD PHOTO
OLD PHOTO
Keego Theatre - DISMANTLING
DISMANTLING
Keego Theatre - OLD MARQUEE
OLD MARQUEE
Keego Theatre - OLD POPCORN MACHINE
OLD POPCORN MACHINE
Keego Theatre - T-SHIRT
T-SHIRT
Keego Theatre - OLD EXIT SIGN
OLD EXIT SIGN
Keego Theatre - OLD SIGN
OLD SIGN
Keego Theatre - OLD AD
OLD AD
Keego Theatre - OLD AD
OLD AD
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