Empress Theatre - Detroit MI

Address: 540 Woodward Avenue
City: Detroit
State: MI
Zip: 48226
County: Wayne
Owner History:
Theater Type: Neighborhood House
Number of visits to this page: 11290

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: Jim Fahlstedt

Ah yes, the Empress! Probably no burlesque theater anywhere is missed more by its fans than this smallish place on Woodward. They always had the full deal. A tenor, a talking woman, the candy butcher and the two comedians, usually old-timers Yakum-Yakum and Art. Real old fashioned burlesque. I knew the manager (his name escapes me), so I would drop in to visit when I was in Detroit. I was backstage with him one day when Sandy O'Hara was the headliner. He introduced us as she was coming off stage. She planted a big sloppy kiss on my cheek. The fact that she naked as the day she was born made that quite a thrill for a teenager.

Info Updates:
5/27/2022 - cgrandma
Sophia headline in 1965 and 66, so did Dolly and Deena, they drew the crowd.
11/24/2009 - Kathy
The R.L. Polk Detroit City Directory, 1922. lists the address as 540 Woodward Avenue.
4/8/2007 - AW Fox
To be more specific on location, the Empress was located on the southeast corner of Woodward Ave. and Congress St. which is now the site of Comerica Tower (built in 1993). Portions of the Vinton Building and First National Buildings, both of which are still standing, can be seen on the far left of the photo.
Empress Theatre - Old Photo
Old Photo
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