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From Decadent To Decaying: A Tour of 8 Detroit Theaters

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Photos by Andrew Kopietz.

Last month we found ourselves lucky enough to tag along for Preservation Detroit's four-and-a-half-hour tour of eight downtown Detroit theater buildings. This tour is thorough! We went backstage in five different locations and saw two wedding being set up (at the Fillmore and the Gem & Century Theaters). The tour gives you a sense of Detroit's boom-time decadent spending at it's best in the Fox Theatre which opened in 1928 and was restored in the 1980s by the Ilitches (owners of the Little Caesars pizza chain). It also gives you a sense of the bizarre crimes against architecture that only happen in Detroit. The Michigan Theatre's adjacent office tower is still in use, but in 1977 the building's owners gutted the theater to turn into a 160-space parking deck. It remains one of the most breath-taking and mind-blogging places in the city today.

· Michigan Theatre [HistoricDetroit.org]
· Fox Theatre [HistoricDetroit.org]
· Andrew Kopietz Photography [Official]