2014-01-12_10-47_40422_WTA_5DM3 Eastown Theater, 8041 Harper Ave., Detroit, Michigan
1 Eastown Theater, 8041 Harper Ave., Detroit, Michigan
2014-01-12_10-39_40382_WTA_5DM3-Edit Eastown Theater, 8041 Harper Ave., Detroit, Michigan
2 Eastown Theater, 8041 Harper Ave., Detroit, Michigan
2014-01-12_10-25_40320_WTA_5DM3 Eastown Theater, 8041 Harper Ave., Detroit, Michigan
3 Eastown Theater, 8041 Harper Ave., Detroit, Michigan
2014-01-12_10-23_40305_WTA_5DM3 Eastown Theater, 8041 Harper Ave., Detroit, Michigan
4 Eastown Theater, 8041 Harper Ave., Detroit, Michigan
2014-01-12_10-48_40435_WTA_5DM3 Eastown Theater, 8041 Harper Ave., Detroit, Michigan
5 Eastown Theater, 8041 Harper Ave., Detroit, Michigan
2014-01-12_10-51_40452_WTA_5DM3 Eastown Theater, 8041 Harper Ave., Detroit, Michigan
6 Eastown Theater, 8041 Harper Ave., Detroit, Michigan
2015-05-03_73825_WTA_5DM3_HDR The Eastown Theatre was one of Detroit’s great neighborhood theaters. It opened originally in 1930 for the Wisper-Wetsman Theaters circuit. It was mainly a...
7 The Eastown Theatre was one of Detroit’s great neighborhood theaters. It opened originally in 1930 for the Wisper-Wetsman Theaters circuit. It was mainly a movie house, though it did have a small stage and did occasionally host stage shows as well in its early years.
Its decor was a mixture of Renaissance Revival styles, including Spanish and Italian with Baroque and Neo-Classic elements as well. The auditorium, which included a large balcony, originally sat just under 2,500. It was designed by the firm of V.J. Waier & Co.
Though the Eastown Theatre closed as a movie house during the mid-1960’s, its second life was just beginning, for which it would be much better known, as one of Detroit’s premiere rock venues.
Beginning in 1969, the list of performers on the Eastown’s stage reads like a who’s-who of rock and roll of that era. Alice Cooper, the Doors, Pink Floyd, Jefferson Airplane, Bob Seger, Jethro Tull and the Grateful Dead are just a few of the bands who played here between 1969 and 1973.
2014-01-12_11-02_40521_WTA_5DM3 Eastown Theater, 8041 Harper Ave., Detroit, Michigan
8 Eastown Theater, 8041 Harper Ave., Detroit, Michigan
2014-01-12_11-02_40540_WTA_5DM3 Eastown Theater, 8041 Harper Ave., Detroit, Michigan
9 Eastown Theater, 8041 Harper Ave., Detroit, Michigan
2014-01-12_11-05_40576_WTA_5DM3 Eastown Theater, 8041 Harper Ave., Detroit, Michigan
10 Eastown Theater, 8041 Harper Ave., Detroit, Michigan
2015-08-01_08-04-42_0101-WTA-5DSR The Eastown opened in a largely residential area on Harper Avenue near Van Dyke at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 1, 1931, with the movie “Sporting Blood,” starring Clark...
11 The Eastown opened in a largely residential area on Harper Avenue near Van Dyke at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 1, 1931, with the movie “Sporting Blood,” starring Clark Gable. Advertisements in newspapers at the time declared the theater’s opening as the “dawn of a new entertainment era” and invited Detroiters to “thrill to the glory of Detroit’s newest, finest Palace of Happiness.’” The ads also proclaimed the theater’s opening as “the most glorious event in the history of east Detroit.” Business owners and merchants in the neighborhood pitched in by decorating the surrounding streets for the grand opening.
With 2,500 seats, it was comparable in size and elegance to most of the downtown theaters. The Eastown was built solely for “talking pictures,” and when it opened, admission was 15 cents for afternoons, a quarter for evenings and 35 cents for Saturday and Sunday evenings. Children got in any time for a dime. Patrons would get dressed up for a night at the movies, and uniformed ushers would guide them to their seats.

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