Lancaster Theatre - River Rouge MI

Address: 10533 W Jefferson Ave
City: River Rouge
State: MI
Zip: 48218
County: Wayne
Owner History:
Theater Type: Small Town Movie Palace
Number of visits to this page: 11744

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: Janic

The Lancaster Theater was on Jefferson Avenue in the middle of the shopping district across from Coolidge Highway. I was born in 1951 and spent every Saturday afternoon there along with my friends watching scary movies. The price of admission was fifteen cents for kids. It was a beautiful old theater with a balcony where the teenagers would sit and make out. It was closed down in the 1960's. Sorry I don't have any real dates for you, just fond memories.

Source: Kevin Seavitt

The Lancaster Theatre was owned by Grandfather a man by the name of Thomas Lancaster. He also owned a number of other theaters the Vest Pocket theater and maybe a few others. He retired at 40 a millionaire to a big mansion on Grosse Ille. He was my grandmother's second husband and they married later in their 50s.

Source: Greg Lancaster

The theater opened in the 1920''s. The owner''s history is my grandfather, Thomas Lancaster followed by my father, Donald Lancaster Sr., who operated it for over 30 years.

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Info Updates:
11/21/2012 - Daryl Puckett
The Lancaster suffered damage from a 1946 tornado that ripped through River Rouge. Then changed the front to the appearence we knew in the 50's and 60's.
6/4/2011 - Barbara Ayotte Brown
Does anybody remember how the Lancaster used to give away dishes, glasses and Encyclopedias on certain nights of the week? I guess it was to boast attendance, but we went to see a movie each week so we could complete our set of Funk & Wagnalls encyclopedias or weeks later to complete our dish set. One of my regrets is that I sold all those dishes over the years in yard sales. Now I wish I had kept one or two as a reminder of those simple and good times.
5/28/2011 - Daryl Puckett
The Lancaster Theater was one of my favorite theaters ever and I have many fond memories. My first recollection was going with Mom to see Love Me Tender, Elvis' first movie. Mom cried at the end. It was simple and better times. at least for a kid.
5/24/2011 - Barbara Ayotte Brown
I was inside the Lancaster theatre the night of the tornado. I thought it was the end of the world when we heard noises that sounded like a train coming through the entrance lobby. Then we heard glass breaking. people panicked and started screaming and running to get out of the building. The force of the wind took the roof off the theatre and dropped pieces of it several blocks away. My father's car, that had been parked on Jefferson, had the marquee of the Lancaster fall on his car. When we finally got outside it was total chaos and debris everywhere. There was a church (and steeple) that had been blown away until there was only the foundation there. Very frightening experience back in 1946. I think of it often these days with all the extreme weather happening in the USA.
1/20/2011 - Jim Thompson
I was about eleven years old and I lived in Ecorse but spent many Saturday afternoons at the Lancaster Theater in the late 40s. The one time that stands out in my mind was a week end I believe in the summer or 1946 when I was catching a bus to go to River Rouge to see a movie at the Lancaster. A friend of mine caught me as I was about to board a bus so I stepped off and spent a while talking with him. About fifteen or twenty minutes later another bus came by and I boarded that one. As luck would have it, when I got to River Rouge the bus was stopped and everyone on the bus was told that there had been a bad storm to move thought town and there was a great deal of damage done to the downtown area. I, along with most passengers on the bus got off and was surprised to see trash all over Jefferson Ave. I, of course, was told that I couldn't go the the Lancaster because there had been a lot of damage done to it. I didn't realize at the time but if I had caught the first bus I would have been sitting in the balcony in the theater when the roof was ripped off by the storm. I thanked my friend for possibly saving my life. By the way, as not to spend a wasted afternoon, I went to the Rouge Theater a block or so from the Lancaster and enjoyed part of a movie when I was yanked out of my seat by my uncle Whitie. He dragging me from the theater and telling me that my parents were worried sick about me. At that point my greatest fear was the storm I would be in when I got home.
1/16/2011 - Keith
I too was born in 1951. This was my favorite theater in the area , I saw The John Ford film The Searchers , with a double bill of The Disney Film The Absent minded professor with Fred MacMurray. who can figure ? Lots of fun and the Searchers really put the hook in me , I did not know why but later discovered it is a film and not a movie. I remember they would show some really strange double and triple bills. The all time , (most strange of them all was in 1962 Tall Story with Anthony Perkins , The angry red planet Si-Fi, and the heavy weight champion ship fight between Floyd Patterson and Ingemar Johansson. Now beat that one. If any one has photos of this Theater I am looking for copies.
8/31/2010 - wayne lancaster
Owned by my grandfather. When a kid, we used to go every week with parents-free popcorn and run of the theater. It was vandalized after renovations in the 60s and closed never to open again.
5/30/2008 - Chuck Shannon
The Lancaster was on the East side of West Jefferson ave, 10533. Between Henry street and Coolidge Hwy. The roof of the theater was blown off by a tornado in the 40's.
Lancaster Theatre - 1935 Lancaster Theater From Tim Lancaster (newer photo)
1935 Lancaster Theater From Tim Lancaster (newer photo)
Lancaster Theatre - From Charles Shannon (newer photo)
From Charles Shannon (newer photo)
Lancaster Theatre - As The Amuse U From Jordan (newer photo)
As The Amuse U From Jordan (newer photo)
Lancaster Theatre - From Above From Charles Shannon (newer photo)
From Above From Charles Shannon (newer photo)
Lancaster Theatre - Old Photo From Jordan (newer photo)
Old Photo From Jordan (newer photo)
Lancaster Theatre - The Original Lancaster Theatre Fromtim Lancaster (newer photo)
The Original Lancaster Theatre Fromtim Lancaster (newer photo)
Lancaster Theatre - May 25 1933 Lawsuit (newer photo)
May 25 1933 Lawsuit (newer photo) © 2024 Over 72,550,690 Served