Detroit Opera House
Historically, Michigan Opera Theatre’s house is Detroit’s fifth opera house. Previous venues in Detroit included a “Detroit Opera House” from 1869-1963 at Kennedy Square, “Whitney Grand Opera House” (renamed Garrick Theater) located on Griswold and Michigan Avenues, and the “New Detroit Opera House” from 1886-1928 situated at Randolph and Monroe Streets.
Located around the corners of Broadway Street and Madison Street at Grand Circus Park, the theater now referred to as the Detroit Opera House was initially opened January 12, 1922, because the Capitol Theater. In the time of its gala premiere, the 4,250-seat theater claimed to become the fifth biggest within the world. The theater was the first in a series of palatial vaudeville and moving image houses built within the Grand Circus Park region in the 1920s. Designed by renowned Detroit architect C. Howard Crane, whose genius for theater style took him to cities around the nation, the developing was constructed with excellent acoustics and in the style from the grand European opera homes. Crane also developed such Detroit landmarks because the Fox Theater, State Theater, and the acoustically ideal Orchestra Hall.
The Capitol Theater was resplendently decorated within the Italian Renaissance style with lavish crystal chandeliers, frescoes, brass fixtures, marble stairways and drinking fountains. Rich rose-red Italian damask was utilized for the main-stage curtain and draperies all through the home. Most of these attributes are present these days in the Detroit Opera House.
Within the fall of 1929, the Capitol Theater became the Paramount Theater and, in 1934, was renamed the Broadway Capitol Theater. Within the initial couple of decades, the grand theater hosted the likes of Will Rogers, Louis Armstrong, Betty Hutton, Guy Lombardo and Duke Ellington; and later, Gale Storm, Sal Mineo and numerous from the rock and roll stars from the 1950s.
Following several years of close to decay the theater underwent a minor restoration in 1960. The renamed and reconfigured 3,367-seat Grand Circus Theater became a film house as soon as again. The Grand Circus Theater closed its doors in 1978 and reopened under the same name in 1981. From 1981 to 1985 the theater ran intermittently, presenting a diversity of entertainment from mainstream artists Ray Charles and Roy Orbison to an alternative rock series entitled “Grand Circus Reside.” The 1922 palace closed its doors for the last time in November of 1985, after a little fire. The theater would be neglected for 3 years until the nomadic Michigan Opera Theatre met its destiny.
1526 Broadway (Entrance at Stage Door on Madison) Detroit, MI 48226
Designed by renowned Detroit architect C. Howard Crane, it is magnificent opera house.