The Fillmore Detroit

Address: 2121 Woodward Ave
City: Detroit
State: MI
County: Wayne
Open: 1925
Capacity: 2200
Owner History: Kunsky
Number of visits to this page: 14699
Notes: AKA: Palms-State, Palms, State Historic Site
Info Updates:
3/13/2013 - G. Fitrakis
Ben-Hur did indeed play at the Palms. However it was around 1969 Or close to it. Well after the First run at the United Artists. It was also the shortened version.
7/23/2012 - G. Fitrakis
Correction: The Ten Commandments Ist run was at the Madison Theatre on a roadshow run. I saw it there and Later was manager of the Madison.
9/20/2008 - JerryD
Gerald, You are right about seeing the "Ten Commandments" on Easter Sunday, but the year was 1966. The place was packed, I worked the Sunday afternoon shift that day, seating was full to capacity all the to the top balcondy. We had advance sales of several churchs & groups for this engagement. The Palms seated about 2999. I can''t ever remember "Ben Hur" playing at the Palms. It played First Run at the United Artist.
We did play "The Greatest Story ever Told & "Samson & Deliah" during this time in ReRelease runs, do to the Great Suscess of "The Ten Commandments" neither did very well. JerryD
9/19/2008 - GERALD G GLOVER JR.
I concur with Shawn Fitzgerald that the Palms, as I knew it, had seats way up top. My family and I hardlly went to a movie downtown; we, and everyone else, had their own movie theaters in their own neighborhood. It was something special to go downtown to a movie. I did remember my dad taking us to the Broadway Capital, Grand Circus, to see some horror film in the 50''s. Other than that we never went downtown to a movie! In 1964 my friends and I decided to go downtown for the first time by ourselves; so we went, on Easter Sunday, to see THE TEN COMMANDMENTS!!! Boy was that theater packed!!! Admission was 85 cents and by the time we got there, we went to church first of course, the place was so crowed that we had to sit upstairs which was so far up that I didn''t think that we would ever get up there!!! When I got home and told my dad that we had gone downtown for a movie he said, "boy, you guys are living big." then when I told him that we had to pay 85 cents to get in he said, WOW, you guys really lived it up!!! Can you believe it? 85 cents was quite a bit at that time for a movie; we only had to pay 25 cents in the hood! The Palms was a very nice theater to take a date back then. I remeber seeing BEN HUR there. Black Exploitation movies took over after the riot and I saw many many of those films there like THE MACK, FOXY BROWN, CLEOPATRA JONES, SPARKEL,COOLEY HIGH ect...also saw many of the Hammer Horror films there. Saw James Bond in MOONRAKER there; but by that time most of the glamour was gone. Yes the Palms was beautiful back then and so are the great memories I have of that time!!!
6/28/2007 - Randy
Sean your info is correct (well at least from a few years ago that I know of and probably still is) that there is indeed a small recording studio in the building you are talking about. That building has numerous floors and it is on one of the upper floors. That building use to be the Carter Electric building. That building has some history to it, as way back in the day, they used it for a ''chicken / fowl / hen'' house and produced meat out of it. the building is attached to the back wall of the stage at the State (Filmore) and is accessed on Elizabeth. Hard for me to get use to calling the STATE the Filmore.
6/22/2007 - Sean Fitzgerald
I was by this theater yesterday. They have renamed it the Fillmore. The sign looks great! I never realized it but yesterday I was informed that the tiny buildings right behind it, in between it and the police building is a recording studio where some pretty big names such as the white stripes have recorded. The buildings look completely run down and shut up tight but that apparently is the idea, or so I''m told. That whole are is Bumpin. Cliff Bells Jazz Bar on park has been restored to it''s former glory and hosts everything from big bands to folk shows and the Park Bar is only beginning to show it''s potential. Detroit is starting to figure it out and good people are putting their money and feet where there mouths are.
8/12/2006 - Sean Fitzgerald
I saw the Cure play there in I think 85. What a cool show. I was way up in the nose bleeds. I had no idea a balcony could be sooooooo far up. I had a better veiw of the cieling than the band. All I could see was a little swatch of Robert SMiths black hair and a red guitar. It was the Palms then I think. This was before the main flor was gutted to be a cheesey club.
8/8/2006 - Randy Adam
I worked there from 1991 to 2001. Those years (and still now) it was a total variety theater. Having everything from concerts, club nights and private parties. Through those years we had some of the best and greatest names in entertainment (i.e. Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Jewel, Sheryl Crow, etc and then the other end was Kid Rock, Alice in Chains, Marylon Manson, Limp Bisket also Dave Chappell, Carrot Top (his first Detroit apperance) and many many others). Also we did a 10 day shoot of the movie "Outta Sight" which stared George Clooney and Jenifer Lopez. The Motorsports Hall of Fame (Novi, Mi.) do there annual inductiees ceremony there every year as well. The theater is open and still hosting club nights on Saturday and concert events on any given day.
8/7/2006 - JerryD
Worked there in 1965 thru 1967, It was called the Palms then, operated by UDT & ABC Michigan Theatres, what a work out. This place was always hopping , an average film could become a BlockBuster at this location, "Once a Thief" sold out on an opening Wednesday, "Gidrah the 3 Headed Monster" War of the Monsters" "Just a Man", "Salt & Pepper", "Man Called Adam" just to name a few. All of big Action hits of the late 60s played there. Jack Cataldo, was the Manger and Gil Green was the DM. Met and married wife while working there. Im still married. Spent the Sunday night there, in 1967 when the riots started. Me and Chief Walter Jones, of the United Patrol service, watched all the confusion & commotion taking place on Woodward Ave., what a night.
1/15/2004 - Cinema Treasures
Now one of the best theaters in Detroit for concerts, the State still pays tribute to its glorious movie palace past by showing classic films during the summer. The State is located 1/2 block from The Fox Theatre.
12/19/2003 - Box Office Magazine
April 1959 - Pedestrians will get accustomed to seeing TV comedian Soupy Sales pedaling his bicycle furiously between the Michigan and Palms Theatres when he holds his annual free matinee at the two UDT houses for all of the thousands of his Soupy Sales Bird Bath Club Members, with personal appearances squeezed in between comedies on screen.
12/18/2003 - Box Office Magazine
July 1959 - Elmer Biehl, who just can't get used to the midnight shift at the Palms, is taking a six-week vacation. Gus Wetzel is swing man for this all-night house.
12/18/2003 - Box Office Magazine
July 1959 - Nate Levin, Allied Artists manager, has abundantly decorated the exchange in advance of the opening of "The BIg Circus" at the Palms Friday (24).
The Fillmore Detroit - AS THE PALMS
The Fillmore Detroit - OLD STATE MARQUEE
The Fillmore Detroit - PALMS WITH FOX
The Fillmore Detroit - INTERIOR SHOT
The Fillmore Detroit - Photo from early 2000's
Photo from early 2000's
The Fillmore Detroit - FROM ROBERT MORROW
The Fillmore Detroit - NEWS ARTICLE 02-09-07
The Fillmore Detroit - NEWS ARTICLE 02-09-07
The Fillmore Detroit - OLD AD
The Fillmore Detroit - OLD AD FROM JOHN LAUTER
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