Warren Theatre - Detroit MI

Address: 16900 W Warren Ave
City: Detroit
State: MI
Zip: 48228
County: Wayne
Open: 1942
Owner History:
Theater Type: Neighborhood House
Number of visits to this page: 19391

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:

The Warren was opened in 1942 and closed by 1969 or so, depending on who you ask. It was a typical neighborhood house but it definitely had its fans in the local community based on the posts below from local folks who attended or worked there.

Info Updates:
8/1/2020 - Edward K
The Warren Theatre opened on January 30. 1942.
8/17/2019 - Helen
Marva Ogle. I also went to Ruddiman and Wilson, but Cody was my high school. My sister went to Mackenzie. We lived on Ashton between Warren and Sawyer. Her name was Evelyn Shuput. My grandfather worked at the Warren Theatre as the janitor. His name was Rade. We spent lots of Sunday afternoons at that show in the 50's.
2/6/2019 - gary smith
I lived on Rutland between Diversy &Tireman. We spent many Saturdays and Sundays afternoons watching movies at the Warren Theater. Saw the Fantastic Voyage, Blue Max andmany greatmovies there. The owling alley next door was having the roof re-done and the hot tar caught fire and burned both buildings down. One of our neighbors was a fireman and worked to put out the fire, to no avail. Such a shame that it was never re-built. Many funtimes there.
12/6/2018 - Rick Andrews
Spent many Saturdays watching Godzilla and Gamra and all the other Japaneese monster movies. Lived on the corner of Memorial&Diversey. The Warren Show and the Parkland Bowl were a couple of great places to have fun back then. There were so many kids living on Memorial&Clayburn and in that neighborhood. Remember Wayside Hamburgers on the corner of Clayburn&Warren Ave? Then it became a barber shop. Will never forget all the business's on Warren, walked past them everyday. RICK ANDREWS.
2/15/2018 - Edward Adler
I lived on Joy Road in the Herman Gardens when I was kid starting at seven years old. The Warren Theater was my theater to go to escape the war that was raging at the time. I remember the lines that would snake down the street to see 'Back to Bataan' and other great war movies of the day. In bad weather, the theater would have the lines of people wait inside in huge crowds. I remember all the Gene Autry movies and dreamed of going out west to a magical ranch. I would walk from Joy Road to the theater, pay 15 cents on Saturdays or Sundays at 12 noon and see a double feature, newsreels (of the war), cartoons (sometimes more than one), previews of coming attractions and a 20 minutes short. When I walked out it was night time and I used to wonder what happened to the day? Had I been there that long? It was a wonderful place for kids and an important place for the neighborhood during those times. I remember clearly the bowling next door, you could buy snacks there and there were always people bowling then. I don't know when the theater was built, but it was there in 1943 and I went there until about the mid-1950's. I went to Mackenzie High (which I see by Google that it has been torn down) then to Wayne State University. I left Detroit in February, 1960 for Palo Alto, California then several years later to Los Angeles where I lived for 33 years. I am retired living in Las Vegas currently. I was saddened on a return visit to Detroit to see that the Warren theater was torn down, after a fire, as was the Herman Gardens project. The wonderful landmarks of Detroit may be gone, but still remain in my memory.
11/17/2017 - Joyce Kost
I worked behind the candy counter around 1961 and Mr. Goodman was the manager. He'd scold me if I dunked the popcorn in the butter when there was no customers! Haha!! I used to bowl next door at Parkland Bowl. Lived on Rutland.
7/31/2017 - marva ogle
Update: I worked at Warren Theater in 1953-1954, before that the Town Theater on Grand River near Southfield. When the Warren needed a cashier they asked for me as I lived much closer. I went to Ruddiman for Elementary, bussed down to Verner Hwy to Wilson Middle School and road the DSR bus with a pass to Mackenzie High for High School, only went half days. Cody was not open then and when it did open they started with just 9th grade and added one more year each year. I lived on Ashton between Whitlock and Paul, having moved there in 1940 and moved 1954, when I got married. My maiden name was Marva Craig, anyone remember me. Nice to read all the memories from back then.
3/26/2017 - Edward John
That is why the theater closed. It had to be 1968 because Rosemarys Baby was displayed on the marqee. Because the theater was built during WW2, they used inferior material, such as wood. The city evenually condemned it and it was razed.
2/27/2017 - Michael McSweeney
The theater closed later than what you think. My mother and I would go once a month to a movie. And I know that during a viewing of Phsyco which had a release date of 64or maybe 65. While watching the movie a portion of the ceiling broke free which coincided with the scariest part of the film. Barely missing me my mom was hit on the head and shoulder. It wasn't long after that the theater closed. I believe it opened for a while showing movies at a discount for a time. I hope this has helped.
2/5/2017 - Chuck Slocum
i use to work there in the 60's went in the service in 67 it was still open then. When I started Mr. Goldman was the manger. mr Turpin was the last one that I worked with. I lived down the street on Clayburn. It was a fun place to work at back in the day. I met a few young ladies working there.
4/20/2015 - Jim Myers
I was a ticket taker and usher in 1953-1954. I remember Big Al and his girlfriend who was the cashier. I was only 15, and went to Cody High School. Lots of memories.
5/17/2013 - Carol
I worked at the Warren Theatre in 1964 and 1965. I lived down the street on Memorial and could see the Marquie lights from my house. I sold candy, and then tickets. I remember when we had a huge snow in 64 the Manager slept there in the lounge. People where stuck home due to bad roads and when I went to work in the evening it was the longest line I had ever had. Longer than for the 25 cent Saturday Matinees. Fun times, many memories. Wish someone had a picture.
5/6/2013 - Dennis
I grew up only one block from the Warren theater. The reason it closed was due to a fire at the bowling alley next door, caving in the roof on both buildings.
3/3/2013 - christine alman
the building that is Cafe GIGI is the original front part of Parkland Bowling alley. they only knocked down the back part of it. I lived on Clayburn all my life till I was 22. (1972).
5/14/2012 - Bob Z
I went to this theater in the early 50's when I was a kid. At that time it cost $. 20 to get in and see 2 movies, several shorts and cartoons on Saturday. On Wednesdays during the summer it was $. 25 but I was in there from about noon until about 5 P. M. I bought my penny candy and a Holloway at Dick Shott's, a corner store just down the block. Next door was a bowling alley which I think was called Parkland Bowl which later became GiGi's.
3/24/2012 - Ed K.
Me and my sister would go to the Warren theater every Sunday afternoon. Air-conditioning in those days was a luxury we didn't have. It was a place to cool down and watch two movies and a cartoon for a very low price. A large popcorn cost us a quarter, not $8. 00 like today. There was a soda vending machine in the lobby where you could get a cup of Dr. Pepper for a dime. I remember the times when the line to get in snaked around the building back to the parking lot behind GiGi's Cafe. Oh what memories!.
2/10/2012 - Mike H
I'm so glad so many remember the Warren Theater. How you remember is another thing. Just today I was talking about what year it closed. My guess was in the early 70's. The space between the two buildings was the entrance. Once inside you turn right to the seats. The person who mentioned the blue walls was correct. There was a time you could still see the blue wall. I think someone painted them leaving us with just the memories.
4/20/2011 - Rachael (Peruski) Frizzell
I worked at the warren show from 1954 to 1958 starting out as a candy girl with my friends Cynthia Zyla, Joanne Stanek and Carrie Zammit. Bruce Archer was an usher along with Ronnie Dworzynski. For more information, e-mail me.
1/4/2011 - Rachael Frizzell
I was Rachael Peruski. I started working at the Warren in 1957 when I turned 16. I started out as a candy girl with my friends JoAnn Stanek and Cynthia Zyla. After a year or so, I worked my way up to ticket seller. Before I turned 16, I would go to the show almost every week just to remind Mr. Martin that I sooooo wanted to work at the show. He finally gave in to my nagging and promised me that when I was 16, I could start. He was good for his word. What a wonderful, kind boss he was. I came from a family of 9 children. When I worked at the Warren, there were about 7 of us kids at home with mom and dad on Mansfield. Mr. Martin let all of them in for free. Dad worked as a yard hand at Mohawk Lumber Co. , and all of us kids worked. If it wasn't for Mr. Martin, mom and dad wouldn't have been able to afford to let us go to the show. Does anybody remember Big Al the bouncer and his girlfriend Marlene? Every Saturday, Marlene would bring Mr. Martin pasties. The whole office smelled so good. We also got all the popcorn we could eat. That job was so great, I would have paid them to work there. All the popular guys that never gave you the time of day in school suddenly noticed you. I also remember the Hoover and the Stanley. I think the Stanly cost either 9 cents or 11 cents and was kind of nasty. But the Warren, on the other hand, cost 25 cents. As far as we kids were concerned, it was high class. All us girls had a crush on Bruce Archer, one of the ushers. Ronnie Dworzynski also worked with us and was part of our crowd. I have some pictures of JoAnn, Cynthia, Carrie Zammit, Bruce and me somewhere, but I'm not computer literage and don't know how to post them. I went to St. Christopher's school, then to St. Andrews in the 9th grade, then on to Cody. I walked to and from school through the Herman Gardens. We were never afraid. Us girls would come across an occational flasher, but we'd just laugh - we figured that made our day. Now adays, people make such a big deal out of stuff that we considered harmless. Times then were so good. Love to you all who remembered. Rachael.
12/29/2010 - Unknown
Yes, I remember driving down from Up North and going to stay with my mother's aunt and uncle who lived several blocks from theater. Don't remember the street but it was the side street that the theater was on.
12/22/2010 - Tim
The gigi club on warren is the bar of the old bowling alley. One of the managers names was Mr Martin and the blond ticket taker was Racheal. They doubled the ticket price forThe Ten Commandments from 25 to 50 cents.
9/9/2010 - Ed K.
The Warren was part of the Wisper and Wetsman chain. It had 1500 seats and closed in 1969. I found this information on the internet.
4/8/2010 - marc
Tony's party store was directly across the street from the theater. My friends and I would sometimes stand outside the store, and ask a passing adult to buy beer for us. I think back then a 6 pack of beer was under $2.00. Dick Shots, on the north west corner of Warren and Memorial, on the same block at the theater, didnt sell beer, it was mostly a milk, bread, pop and candy store. There was also a drug store called Hi Lo's about a block east of the Warren theater.
4/6/2010 - marc
I have numerous memories of the Warren Theater. There was a bowling alley just west of the theater. The roof of the bowling alley caved in and it was demolished. A go-go bar, Cafe Gigi was built in its place. There was a party store east of the theater called Dick Shots.
Friends and myself went to the theater almost every Saturday for a quarter. In 1966 I bacame an usher at the theater. We had our own ushers lounge upstairs and on occasion brought friends up there and gave them tours of the cat walks above the theaters ceilings and behing the screen. It was amazing to see the audience from behind the screen knowing they couldn't see us.
The ushers obtained minor celebrity status with the neighborhood girls and we were recognized by them at Ruddiman Jr. High school and Cody High.
I remember a beach movie opening at the theater and the movie producers bringing in bikini clad girls from the movie to the lobby to sign autographs.
The theater closed shortly after I moved on to another job.
I would be great if someone had pictures to share of the theater.
3/23/2010 - Ed K.
The theater may be long gone but my memories of it live on. I remember me and my sister going there on a Sunday afternoon and the line to get in snaked around the building. People dressed in their Sunday clothes, not blue jeans or t-shirts! You could watch two movies and a cartoon for the cost of one ticket. You can't get a deal like that today! I would like it if anyone had a picture or old newspaper ads to post it here. I'm sure a lot of people would appreciate it.
12/28/2009 - Edvard
Does anyone out there have any old photos of the Warren? I have done numerous searches on the web and can't find anything on this fine theater.
10/9/2009 - marva ogle
Boy, do I remember the Warren Theater. I used to go there in the 40's. My first part time job was as cashier at the Warren Theater in 1952. Tickets were 60cents for adults and children were 12 cents week nights and Saturdays. On Sunday it was $1 for adults and 20 cents for kids. I remember the ticket taker just as you entered the door and the candy counter was on the right. You walked straight back and that was the back of the theater, you then walked down plush red carpet to your seat, which was also. To the west of the Theater was a bowling alley at that time and to the east I know there was a dentist office which I also had to visit. There was a small market on the corner and other businesses in between (can't remember what they were). Across the street was an ice cream parlor which had the small stools to sit on that you could go round and round on. We lived on Ashton at the time, from K thru 6th grade I attended Ruddiman School before the addition was put on. I lived there until I got married at 18. Memories, Memories, and more Memories.
2/22/2009 - Ed Kwasny
The theater used to be next to Cafe GiGi, which is now a gay and lesbian club. Water damage to the theater over the years forced the city to raze the building in 1968. What a place it was in it's heyday. You will never find anything like that today.
9/11/2008 - Don McCall
The theater was situated behind a bakery, meat market and a dentist's office, which are long gone but the building is still there. I remember the theater having aqua-colored tiles with a cross-shaped design on it. The sign itself was nothing fancy just plain. The parking lot was behind the small white building which used to be a restaurant and later a barber shop for many years. There is a apartment building there now. Some good memories.......
3/10/2008 - Jim Myers
I worked as an usher at this theater when I was 15-16, in 1952-1953. I am sad that it has been torn down. I can still remember the manager and the female ticket-taker, but their names escape me. The theater was a "classy" one in it's time, and they converted to a Cinema Scope screen when I was there.
7/12/2007 - Mark
The Warren theater was next to the building called Gigi's, which was there during the 60's. The actual Warren theater building was torn down years ago, much like the Herman Garden projects that backed up to the back of the Warren theater. We use to go to the Warren theater on Saturdays in the early 60s. A fancy theater it was. Great times and only good memories now. It's a shame we can't go back in time to enjoy and appreciate those things we so often took for granted. If anyone has photos of the Warren theater both outside and inside please post them here. Many would appreciate it. Thanks
12/18/2006 - Eddie K.
I remember going to the Warren when I was a young kid. It cost me 40 cents to get in. Me and my sister spent many Sunday afternoons there watching the double matinees and snacking on the potatoe chips we sneeked in. There was a topless bar next to it, or so I was told. The theater was razed in 1968 and all I have left are old memories of the fun times we had there. Anyone have some old pictures of the theater?
10/19/2006 - Jeff P
I believe Jerry‘s right about closing in ’67. Couldn’t have been any sooner. I remember seeing “The Wild Angels” there. That was in 1966. And oh what a night that was. Two rival motorcycle gangs brawling all over the seats. Fighting over a remark made to someone’s girlfriend, so I heard. For some reason I don’t remember the end of that movie. On a lighter note the Warren also had a cup style soft drink machine that would mix any two flavors you chose…Cherry Coke way before it’s time.
10/18/2006 - Frank Burns
I use to go to the warren show on weekend in the late forties and early fiftys. it was a first class theater, red carpet plush seats. it was a quarter to get in while the stanly and hoover were only tweleve cents. there was a candy store on the conor of memorial and warren. lots of memories. on the west side of the theather was a bowling alley. there was also a small white resturant on the corner of clayborn. between clayborn and southfield few houses mostly fields. would play in them on the way to and from the theather. on sunday everybody would wear suits.
8/30/2006 - JerryD
The Warren Theatre closed in 66 or 67, I believe it was Wisper&Wetsman house. Don Turpin was one of the last managers to work there.
6/24/2006 - Shannon
My dad went to this theater a lot in the 1950s, possibly into the early 1960s. Hes told me about it many times, but I could never find any information about it! I would love to see a photo and hope someone has one and will post it here.
3/13/2006 - Linda
Regarding the Warren Show, my sisters and I went there almost every Saturday in the 60s. The original building is long gone, and the gay bar mentioned was actually a bowling alley at the same time the show was there. I remember the candy store on the corner called Dick Shots where we could buy a whole bag of candy for a quarter. Great times.
2/7/2006 - Al
The theatre was NEXT to Gigis in the still vacant lot.
12/11/2005 - Jeff
The Warren Theatre is on Warren Avenue, a few blocks E of Southfield on the N side. It still stands and is a gay / transvestite bar called Gigis.
11/15/2005 - Dave Kirker
Does anyone ever remember the Warren Theatre in Detroit? I went there as a kid in the forties. It was located on Warren Ave. near Joy Road. I used to walk through a project called Herman Gardens to get there. My older sister worked as an usher there. The only Warren theatre mentioned on this, or any other website is in Warren Mi. Im positive of the name, and cant believe no one else has heard of it. DK
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