Senate Theatre - Detroit MI

Address: 6424 Michigan Ave
City: Detroit
State: MI
Zip: 48210
County: Wayne
Open: 1926
Capacity: 900
Owner History: Detroit Theater Organ Society
Theater Type: Neighborhood House
Number of visits to this page: 8903
General Information:

Source: Cinema Treasures

The Senate opened in 1926 and its architect was Christian W. Brandt, who designed a number of smaller Detroit houses like the Times Square and LaSalle Garden, most of which have not survived. Remodeled sometime in the 30s in an Art Deco style, including a new facade and tall vertical marquee, the Senate continued to operate until 1958 when it was closed.

The former theater was acquired by the Detroit Theater Organ Society in 1963 who renovated it and reduced seating from 1200 to about 900. The Society moved the former Fisher Theater organ from the Iris Theater, where it was briefly kept in 1961-2, to the Senate. Since then, the Senate has been home to the DTOS, and features organ concerts. It no longer has its projection equipment, so unlike the Redford, which features organ concerts and classic motion pictures, the Senate is now a concert hall only.

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Info Updates:
3/13/2011 - Gary
The Detroit Theater Organ Society will be reopening the Senate Theater to its members and the general public for concerts featuring world-class artists on its one-of-a-kind 4/34 Mighty Wurlitzer theater pipe organ beginning in May 2011. After several years of exhaustive efforts to locate a suitable new home for DTOS and its prized instrument, the organization decided to remain at the Senate and continue on its mission of preserving an important artifact of music history as well as educating and engaging new generations in the richness and versatility of theater organs. On May 13, 2011 at 3:00 pm, DTOS will present its reopening concert featuring world renowned organist Jelani Eddington. Tickets are $12. 00 and may be purchased at the door. For more information, call (313) 894-4100 or visit their web site at www. dtos. org.
12/31/2009 - Jon C.
The Senate Theatre is now closed. The Detroit Theatre Organ Society could no longer afford to operate the theatre and has ended organ concerts at the Senate. The building is now for sale. The DTOS is looking for a new home for the Mighty Wurlitzer that was moved to the Senate from the Fisher Theatre 45 years ago. A sad story indeed.
3/29/2007 - Sean Fitzgerald
Many a night was spent next door at the Senate Coney Island with my first girl, poet Laura Lenart. It was a great place and I had many great times there, after a beer at Sharron's old homestead, or hanging out at her house on Livernois and John Cronk. I always wondered what went on inside the theater.
12/19/2003 - Box Office Magazine
April 1959 - George Wise of the Senate Theatre was nursing bruises along with two members of Local 199, Fred Lokar and James Cunningham, all three of whom were set upon by an unidentified man last Friday evening. Two bruisers beat and kicked the picketers in front of the theatre. Another punched Wise in the face some time later after inferring the other beating had been instigated by Wise, who has had picketing at the recently opened Senate because of failure to hire a union projectionist.
12/18/2003 - Box Office Magazine
May 1959 - George Wise reported two minor fires in one day at the Senate Theatre.
12/18/2003 - Box Office Magazine
February 1959 - George Wise reopened the Senate as lesee. The house was formerly run by A&W Theatres. Bill Clark is handling all buying-booking. Clark is also taking over the buying for Bob Pennels Cozy at Decatur.
3/19/2003 - Joan Brown
Concerts are performed by world known organist and cost is just $12.00 for concert. Memberships are available and members attend concerts free.
 Photos:3
Senate Theatre - Photo from early 2000's
Photo from early 2000's
Senate Theatre - Photo from early 2000's
Photo from early 2000's
Senate Theatre - INTERIOR
INTERIOR
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