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Over at the Michigan Theater I found some places and spaces I had not been in before. The Michigan Theater is connected to the Michigan Office building – the theater could not be saved, nor could it be demoed without destroying the integrity of the office tower portion. So they converted it to a parking garage. Very surreal.

This place can be seen in the Eminem movie 8 Mile, and also his video “Lose Yourself”. The theater was also the place where a young Sammy Davis Jr. met Frank Sinatra. This is where the Rat Pack was born. Before the Michigan Theater and office tower were here this had been the exact location of the garage structure where Henry Ford built his first working automobile prototype. The famous story is that he had to bust out a wall to free his “quadracycle” machine. That structure is in Greenfield Village now.

After a bit of exploring we discovered the hidden staircases that lead to the balconies and projection booths. Okay fine, they opened it with the key when we asked, security cameras prevented us from doing so without permission.

Because these areas are sealed off and monitored carefully, they are still in considerably good condition.

Back out on the street we notice the progress on the destruction of the Statler Hotel. At one time this hotel was controlled by Paris Hiltons family.

PEEKABOO We’re watching your asses ! BigBrother Detroit style. The new riverwalk is complete with emergency phones which I thought was cool – at first. Closer inspection reveals the future of lazy police surveillance – mounted cameras. When I took a closer look at this thing, it looked away – as if to pretend it hadnt been staring at me and my friend as we walked by. I noticed it tracking us as we passed so I went up to get a better look. You take my picture, I take yours.

Some pretty hilarious pictograms explaining all the fun you are not allowed to have on the riverwalk – and remember, the riverwalk can SEE you.

This is the new riverboat thingy. Not really into this thing but itll probably make some nice photos at night when its lit up.

These faces had been obscured by the newer facade signage on the United Artists Theater during an earlier renovation and were concealed all these years – until the marquee started to collapse onto the sidewalk.

They are very similar to faces you can see adorning the facades of the Fox Theater – also a Charlie Crane design.

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9 Responses to Michigan Theater

  • Right, that’s the key point, who’s watching the watchers. You can email us for it- should be finished this summer and will be an ongoing project during free time of course ;)

    That group referred to above are called the “Surveillance Camera Players” I’ve linked to them on my blog but you may google it just the same. They hold tours and performances in front of public surveillance cameras.

    Surveillance can have its benefits in private settings IMO, but transparancy and the ability to know exactly what and who is being watched- and BTW who is watching, is important. Where does the data collected go? I always think about all of those stories where someone was caught on tape/video stealing something or beating someone down and they had hoods on. The cameras certainly didn’t stop the crime, but it made for good evening news. Something to think about anyway. Ok, back to pure Detroit issues now! Peace to you and yours, keep it up.

  • After going to detroit a lot this week I thought to myself “Ya know with all the graffiti artists that find their ways into the most public places and seem not to get caught…I’m really hoping that Kwame’s billboards somehow get defaced…” and sure enough, they get defaced! well done

  • I’m suprised there wasn’t a “No Walking” hieroglyphic. Geez.

    I love the thug masks. An excellent and inventive form of protest.

  • Yeah DBazaar – I am interested in seeing that map – very much so. I dont see a problem with surveilance, but I think its pretty clear that the ethical thing to do is to notify citizens that they are being watched. I think its out of control to monitor secretly by who knows who.

    WHOS WATCHING THE WATCHERS ?

  • What’s that group that does performances for the benefit of surveillance cameras? Maybe they need to start one here.

  • Well damn, there goes my plans for a motorcycle camping trip to the riverwalk, and why can’t I enjoy some fine wine while I’m down there? Blasphemy!

  • You know there is a Detroit, Maine… but I am not from there..

  • I noticed these too, good work for exposing them to more people! Head on over to Greektown and the area around Compuware too for a surveillance style treat- seems everything new is coming fully equipped with a wasteful Big Brother. I’m putting together a map of cameras public and private if you’re interested.

  • Nice photo of the faces. I have never gotten a good one..