not all those who wander are lost

Albert Kahns National Theater ~ 1911. (Kahn with Ernest Wilby.)

Baroque/BeauArts/Moorish design. Laden with wonderful Mary Chase Stratton era Pewabic tile inlays.

Damn is that face creepy..

National Theater stage

Oh hey relax – they are protecting you with a giant wall of asbestos !

Whew. I was worried for a minute there.

Melted plaster mush, like the other rotted old theaters that have survived.

Arclight projectors. These things are so massive and heavy they are usually moved last during renovations. The projectors from the Madison Theater are all that is left even though the rest was long ago stripped away for a redevelopment attempt. (since stalled)

I think the basic idea for these projectors was run a piece of film in front of a bolt of lightening for bright vivid image. They must have looked incredible compared to todays crappy (safe) projection methods.

Interior brickwork of the twin turrets. Probably my favorite part of the structure.

I believe DetroitBlog researched the hell out of this place and the last business was a porn theater. This is from when they pulled out (pardon pun) and moved to Broadway.

7 Responses to National Theater

  • I always watch Discover Detroit – HILARIOUS ! Mrs dFUNK and I just howl in laughter at the chunky blond woman who repeatedly coos “Ohhh thats neat” or “Ooooooh thats so cool” at everything. Its like they are taking a lobotomy patient on a tour of the city every week – hahaha !

    “Woooooow thats wonderful!”

  • Check out the National Theatre when It was “opened up for business” back during winterblast!
    this great theatre is still thriving right in the beauty of rich, properous successful detroit!


    (anybody want to hear the detroit visitors bureau spin on what’s new in the d! watch Channel 56 PBS monday at 5 or 5:30 for Discover Detroit a great tv show about “what its like in the d”. I have it tivo’ed)

  • I saw this about 3 weeks ago and I wanted it.. I just can’t think what to do w/ it. make it like a big magig bag? bands, bar , brew and views?.. i just want tit.. after that i’m stuck..

  • I eat asbestos for breakfast.

  • Those sound awesome. I want one.

  • I love how that rattyass black banner thing is still there almost two years after the event it was hung to promote. Something having to do with the casinos I think.

  • Those projectors work by creating a big spark between an anode and cathode, both made of carbon. It’s heavy in ultraviolet light. If you want to burn your retinas, this is an efficient way to do it. Just open it up and look at it for a few minutes and your eyes will be nicely scarred.