4.0
1 votes

Michigan Theater (parking garage)

238 Bagley Ave, Detroit, Michigan USA

“Coolest parking garage ever”

It’s been a rough go for Detroit… abandoned buildings, bankruptcy, arson, and the list goes on, but the best example of how times have changed since the roaring 20s is the Michigan Theater. Once an example of Detroit’s affluence, today it’s a parking garage. But it is the most beautiful one in all of America. Attached to the 13-story Michigan Building, the French Renaissance styled theater once sat over 4,000 and cost over $3.5 million dollars to build in the 1920s. Ironically the entire building was put on the market this past July for only $3 million dollars. (FYI that $3.5 equates to over $45 million in today’s dollars) That’s quite the downward spiral when you adjust for inflation. After theater use ceased in the early 70s, Sam Hadous attempted to turn the space into a swanky “super club”, but that folded quickly. By 1973 the theater had been turned into a rock concert venue, taking a heavy toll on the condition of the space. By the late 70s the building looked destined for destruction, except tearing it down would just damage the surrounding structures too badly. The end result: In 1977 the Michigan Theater was turned into a 160 spot parking garage complete with the beautiful ceilings and parts of the original curtain still in place. It may be the only French Renaissance style parking garage in the world. -Roadtrippers Generations of Detroiters used to park their seats under the jaw-dropping ornate plasterwork and opulence of a downtown movie palace. Today, they park their cars there. The 4,038-seat Michigan Theatre was designed in the French Renaissance style in 1925 and was simply unrivaled in Detroit in elegance at the time. The Michigan was built at Bagley and Cass avenues at a cost of more than $3.5 million ($42.4 million today, when adjusted for inflation) and was the only Detroit theater designed by renowned architects Cornelius W. and George L. Rapp. The theater was the Rapp brothers’ third largest, and it, and the 13-story Michigan Building office tower that it is connected to, would open in 1926. This place is on private property. Listing for informational purposes only. Please do not visit without express permission from the land owner.

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Reviewed by
Austin Coop

  • 487 Reviews
  • 415 Helpful
July 02, 2014
Rated 4.0

Detroit is full sad, abandoned buildings... Standing as relics to the city's glory days, but thankfully people had the foresight to make the best out of this old theater. Today it stands as maybe the coolest parking garage in all of America. Maybe that's why it's been used for countless photo shoots and music videos.

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
ashleycdubs

  • 1 Review
  • 0 Helpful
September 08, 2016

This was in 8 Mile!!

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Michigan Theater (parking garage)

238 Bagley Ave
Detroit, Michigan
USA

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