The Fabulous Fox Theater of Detroit
August 20, 2008
Wikipedia’s Fox Theatre (Detroit) entry says that Detroit’s Fox is the largest of the 28 Theaters built by movie mogul and 20th Century Fox founder William Fox (or purchased by his company):
…it was the first movie palace to have live sound. The architect, C. Howard Crane, designed a lavish interior blend of Burmese, Chinese, Indian and Persian motifs. There are three levels of seating, the Main Floor above the orchestra pit, the Mezzanine, and the Gallery (balcony). The exterior of the attached 10-story building features an Art Deco facade, which at night is illuminated and can be seen for several blocks.
The Fox was Detroit’s premier movie palace for decades, but by the 1970s it was a shadow of itself, showing horror and Kung fu movies to sparse audiences. In 1988, new owners Mike and Marian Ilitch conducted a $12 million renovation by its new owners which restored the theater to its former glory as Detroit’s premier venue.
Detroit’s historic Fox Theatre from the Detroit News has some great historical photos and details some of the amazing materials utilized. Those red columns, for example, are solid marble and each apparently holds a jeweled figure representing various Asiatic Gods and the lobby held the largest wool rug ever made in the US.