Park Theatre - Lincoln Park MI

Address: 1583 W Fort St
City: Lincoln Park
State: MI
Zip: 48146
County: Wayne
Open: 1925
Capacity: 600
Owner History:
Theater Type: Neighborhood House
Number of visits to this page: 15233

Please note that location entries may feature older photos or post card views that may not represent the current appearance, features, addresses, phone numbers, or contact names of the attraction. This site is intended to be a historical as well as current record of various attractions but it is not always possible to have up-to-date information due to the vast number of locations featured here. We ask you consult the propietor for current information.

General Information:

Source: Cinema Treasures

Built in 1925, and designed by C. Howard Crane, as the Lincoln Park, this 600 seat theater was remodeled in the early 40s in Art Moderne style by another prolific Detroit-area theater architect, Charles N. Agree. After decades as a first-run house, this Streamline-style theater switched over to pornographic films in the 70s, and remains, to the consternation of many, a XXX theater to this day. Its facade has been painted a uniformly drab gray, its storefront windows blocked up and painted over to draw less attention to itself. (Though its bright yellow marquee advertising ?Adult Entertainment? certainly isn?t at all subtle).

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Info Updates:
6/26/2015 - Timothy Warren
In the late sixties and early seventies, when the theatre was on its last leg and struggling, the Park had live rock bands. The MC5 and the Frost performed on a regular basis. Tickets were inexpensive and the shows were well attended. The businesses and residents of the area wanted the shows stopped and the theatre closed back then as well.
11/12/2014 - GeoGeo123
Proud to say that now Park theatre has been rehabbed into beautiful loft style apartments.
6/3/2008 - Detroit News
Strip club owners to donate theater Developers of Hustler Club may soon hand over downtown facility that shows adult films. Tanveer Ali / The Detroit News LINCOLN PARK -- The developers of a proposed $4.2 million strip club are expected to donate the adult-oriented Park Theatre as early as this week to a nonprofit group as part of a settlement reached with the city. Lawyer Bradley Shaffer confirmed last week that his client MIC Limited was in talks with Wyandotte-based Wayne Metro Community Action Agency to transfer the land. The owners agreed to drop the property in exchange for the city exempting various cabaret ordinances for the Hustler Club planned at Outer Drive and Papalas. Critics panned the settlement with some City Council members, saying they may bring up further court action to nullify the deal. But with the deal already signed by the judge, construction under way on the strip club and the land transfer imminent, Mayor Frank Vaslo said the controversy should be put to rest. Advertisement "This is a huge opportunity for us," Vaslo said. "We are getting rid of this nasty peep show in our downtown and replacing it with retail and lofts in our central business district. Of course this is great for us." Wayne Metro is still in the planning stages for the development at 1583 Fort, but chief executive officer Louis Piszker said the proposal includes a retail and housing combination. A portion of the land would be given to the neighboring Faith Tabernacle Church of God for parking. Council President Thomas Murphy is one of the council members who opposed the settlement, saying it was completed without council approval. He said he was unimpressed by Wayne Metro's initial plans to include affordable housing. "Everybody wants (the theater) to be closed," Murphy said. "What they want to bring in is the opposite of everything we want for a city." Built in 1925 and once a premier, 600-seat theater showing first-run Hollywood films, the Park Theatre switched to adult films during the 1970s.
9/25/2005 - Chuck Van Bibber
An article from the Detroit Art Deco Society in regards to the Park AKA Lincoln Park Theatre. Give a pretty good history of the theatre. by Rebecca Binno Distinctive architecture in small suburbs like Lincoln Park is usually a rare thing to find. And these days it is a rare thing that has not been demolished for a strip commercial retail center. That's the case for the Lincoln Park Theater at 1583 West Fort Street and OConnor Street (near Southfield Road). Built in 1925 by Mr. M. R. Levy, and designed by prominent Detroit theater architect C. Howard Crane, the Park Theater originally sat 600. C. Howard Crane also designed the Fox, State and Capitol (now the Detroit Opera House) Theaters in Detroit, as well as over 250 theaters in the United States. An article from 1925 describes the Park Theaters beautiful polychrome chandeliers, velour drapes and cork aisle floors (to allow noiseless walking). Because movies were silent in 1925, a three manual pipe organ was scheduled to be installed, but it never materialized. The theory and value behind Hollywood movies of the 1920s was also explained in the article: "Motion pictures inspire better looking homes; movie fans may learn how to dress and conduct themselves properly; they especially benefit the young as it gives them a way to fill their leisure time respectably and profitably. The Park Theater opening will mark an epoch-making day in the theatrical life of Lincoln Park, and every one here owes a debt of gratitude to those who made this showhouse possible." Theater History At Christmas in 1934, at the height of the Depression, the manager of the Lincoln Park theater issued free admission tickets as a gesture to the Lincoln Parkers who could not afford it otherwise. In the World War II era, the theater was used as a campaign headquarters for war bond rallies to raise money for the war efforts. There were food drives for needy families overseas, and Lincoln Park children were admitted to the film programs for a can of food. The theater was remodeled and the original vertical marquee and canopy were replaced with a porcelain enameled steel vertical marquee. The current design is a symmetrical stepped vertical marquee that was originally lit with neon. The storefront lobby windows have been filled with siding and the Fort Street doors have been replaced with fire doors that open from the interior. The Park has been a pornographic theater since the mid-1970s. City officials and citizens groups battled with the x-rated establishment and it was the subject of federal lawsuits. The Parks adult entertainment center is now only accessible from a fenced parking lot entrance, and it has kept its presence toned down. Today The Park is threatened with demolition, as many structures in the Lincoln Park area have been recently due to strip mall developments. Additionally, Lincoln Park, a city of just six square miles, has a total of 20 gas stations. That's a high amount compared to half that number in neighboring communities. Mayor Frank Sall recently told the Detroit News that he "does not want the image of Lincoln Park to be reflected by a gas station on every corner. We want to attract those types of businesses that will be more conductive to our community." The Detroit Area Art Deco Society hopes that the city of Lincoln Park can recognize that the Park Theater is a significant building to the community, despite its current use. Hopefully, the Park Theater can be reused again to contribute to the community and its architectural streetscape.
Park Theatre - Recent Shot
Recent Shot
Park Theatre - Classic Shot From Sean Doerr
Classic Shot From Sean Doerr
Park Theatre - Recent Pic
Recent Pic
Park Theatre - Recent Pic
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