Source: John Lauter
I worked at the Studio 8 in 1976-77 as projectionist, the theatre had opened as an art house. There was a Studio theatre chain consisting of the Studio in Detroit, the Studio North in Ferndale (now KA the Magic Bag) the Studio 8 in Oak Park and the Studio 4 in Birmingham. The chain had long since disbanded by '76. The Studio 8 had shown porno in '74-75, and would again in '77 but when I started there it was known as the Ritz Studio 8 and was run by a family who owned a scrap metal business.
They really tried to reclaim the theatre's image as a family theatre and ran good movies. I ran Outlaw Josey Wales, My Name is Nobody, Lady sings the Blues and several other films. The Studio 8 was very nice inside, they tried to class it up inside beyond the usual draped auditoriums of the day with a half-timbered look to the auditorium. The booth was a dream to work, great Simplex XL machines and Carbon Arc lamps. We would assemble 6,000 ft. reels there, so you would start the show and not have to make a changeover for one hour.
The Scrap metal folks just closed the doors one day and I was owed $250 in wages (big money back then) and I went after them thru the State of Michigan labor relations board, but that didn't produce any results. The theatre re-opened as a porno house shortly after that closing, in the winter of 1977. Oak Park didn't like the theatre running porno and started inspecting the building for everything they could.