Irving Theatre

Address: 21220 Fenkell St
City: Detroit
State: MI
County: Wayne
Open: 1927
Capacity: 1025
Owner History:
Number of visits to this page: 15566
Info Updates:
12/13/2012 - richard wagner
as iam from redford twp at 5 mile rd and beach rd and then detroit irving theat re area at burt rd and fenkell and i use to go there when i was a kid from 1938 to 1950 and ihavnt seen that area since 1967 as only now by google bing links photos pictures as i now live in fort walton beach florida but i have live in redfor d twp and detroit the frist 25 years.
10/10/2011 - jimmy Anderson
yes, I remember the Irving in the sixties. Two movies for 35 cents and a bag of homemade popcorn waiting in line to see Double trouble and Spinout starring Elvis. I remember one saturday afternoon when someone threw a folded up popcorn box and flung it at the movie screen. It ripped the screen. the lights came on and a little old lady walked out in front of the screen and scolded the saturday afternoon audience sending us home early.
5/27/2011 - Maryann
I loved going to the Irving as a child. I lived in Redford Township and enjoyed many Saturday Matinee's at the Irving. Especially the scary stuff, the horror and sci-fi thrillers.
5/8/2011 - Margaret
If you are looking for a blast from the past movie theater experience, check out the Penn Theater in Plymouth. They are currently featuring classic movies on Thursday evenings at 7:00 pm.
3/22/2011 - Robert
I remember going to the Irving in the 1950's. The Irving never showed first-run movies, going for 12cents (kids fare), adults were 25cents. I could spend all of a Saturday afternoon there, watching two full length features, cartoons and The Three Stooges. Was a great day! I lived on Burt Road, north of Fenkell, so it was a short walk to the large brick building. I worked at Lipson's Supermarket across from the theater and would often go to the Irving after a day of bagging groceries. There was a mom & pop hamburger store just east of the entrance of theater.
1/10/2011 - Frank Gerald Lawrence
the irving theater wow there are a lot of ladys that wonder were i learned how to kiss so well realie iam not fibbing i tell them at the irving theater when i was 11 or 12 1962 or 1963 my buddys and i would come up with a quarter and go to the theater on saturday afternoon meet with some girls we knew from school and neck it was harmless but thanks margo were ever you are theres a bunch of ladys that would like to thank you for your teachings on how to kiss i also grew up on person st 3rd or 4th house from the allie from outer drive and on the east side of the street ed large and his family lived across the street from me my house like the other 3 i grew up in are like the irving now gone and dont forget were you learned to line dance yep the old way in 1962 at the brightmoor center on burt rd on friday night oh ya. and dont for get our school thats also now gone my mom and dad and i went there harding on burt rd i know ill never for get, merories frank gerald lawrence.
4/30/2010 - Ed
I meant the end of the Irving. The Redford looks fantastic. Its nice to know that people volunteer their time and labor to restore this old classic theater. Another one would be the State Theater in Wayne.
4/23/2010 - Jon C.
I wouldn''t say that it''s totally the end. You can still see great movies and have a good time at a classic Detroit neighborhood movie house. Just go to the Redford.
4/19/2010 - Ed
The end of an era. The neighborhood theater where you could see movies for a cheap price and have a good time.
2/5/2010 - Ted Martin
The Irving Theater, located in Detroit''s Brightmoor neighborhood, once seated 1025, and opened in 1927. It stood at 21220 Fenkell Street at the corner of Blackstone Street. The Irving was designed by the firm of Kohner & Payne, whose other Detroit movie houses included the Uptown and the John Eberson-inspired Ramona, both long gone.

After a long life as a first-run theater, the Irving turned to adult fare in the 70s, and continued to screen adult features in 1997 before it closed. The former theater most recently used as a church, but had been vacant since 2005. In May 2007, the building was destroyed in a fire.

9/19/2008 - Doug
I use to live on Pierson about a block from Fenkell, as a kid I remember going by the Irving to the barber shop in the same strip as the theater. I always thought that was a perfect spot for a theater, you could go see a pic and go across the street and grab a pizza from Vio''s then head down the street to Brightmoor Bowl above Checker Drugs for some late night bowling. *sigh* to bad time destroys all things.
3/29/2008 - Margaret Deardoff
Oh My Gosh!!!

The wonderful memories of matinee Saturdays at the Irving Theater during the 1960''s!!!!!

I fell in love with B-Horror films and Elvis and cartoons!

Why did I never sit in the balcony????

We would litererally fill that theater with kids!

Thanks for the memories!
2/21/2008 - George Feisel
I moved to Brightmoor in 1941 with my parents and brothers and sisters. We lived on Lamphere in the second house from Hubert school. I am now in my 70''s, but it seems like yesterday that we would walk those several blocks to the Irving to catch the Saturday matinee. Tickets cost ten cents with a two cent "luxury" tax added on. For this meager sum, one could see a double feature, a serial episode, an RKO Pathe News reel and an unbelievable number of previews of coming attractions. On our walk to the Irving we would stop at Smith''s Grocery on Fenkell between Dacosta and Dolphin to buy candy. My oldest brother worked there before he entered the Navy during WWII. I also remember a small, six lane bowling alley near the Irving. Can''t recall the name, but Twilight Lanes comes to mind.

Oh, the memories of days gone by.
2/11/2008 - Nancy
LOL I remember going to the Irving and watching "Deep Throat" from the projectionist''s booth. Owner was a friend and told so many stories about people watching this movie that we had to see for ourselves. We often wonder what those people were thinking of as they to have known that there was "someone" operating the movie projector. I can''t remember if there was a candy counter or popcorn as I don''t think that is what brought these viewers in. That was the "good ''ole days."
12/22/2007 - Stu Jackson
I remember many a Saturday at the Irving! As a kid I lived on Pierson road, just down from there. Guess that was back in the late 50s. Two movies, cartoons, food and buddies. What a way to spend a Saturday afternoon.
Anyway, thanks for all the memories!
12/16/2007 - James Shinn
I moved to Brightmoor in 1968 the year after the riots I was 9 then and don''t remember going there as a child and as you know it changed to adult films in the 70''s my older brothers and sister went there as kids though.
9/11/2007 - Jasia
I''m very curious about the "Martha and George Washington" pattern of China handed out on dish night. Does it have a stamp on the back indicating who manufactured it or where it was made? What does it look like?
7/6/2007 - steven seiler
Is there anyone out there who might have tickets from the Irvings in the 30s or 40s etc... My father went there as a kid and it would make a great gift!
7/2/2007 - kmeadowcroft
My parents were married in Detroit in 1957 and their first apartment was above the Irving Theater. The windows just above the marquee was the living room. My uncle was also the manager of the theater for a year, not sure of the exact year but 1955 or 56 or 57. My Aunts and Grandparents would also go to the theater when they had dish night... They would get a china dish when they went to the show and I have inherited a 12 person place setting of the "Martha and George Washington" china that they collected.
5/19/2007 - lloyd johnson
On May 12 , 2007 this theater had suffered major fire damage, and is now tore down. I just remember it as an adult movie theater. I hate to see this land mark of Brightmoor go up in smoke.
5/14/2007 - Pete
Sad to say this, but apparently the theatre burned down on 5/12/07
10/14/2004 - Deloris Kotowske
I grew up in Redford Township near Fenkell AKA 5-mile Road near Beech-Daly I would walk to the Irving Theater on Saturdays when they showed two movies, cartoons, and a news reel. Cost was only 10 cents plus 2 cent tax. This was back in the 40s.
1/13/2004 - Web
This neighborhood theater once sat over 1000, and opened in 1927. It was designed by the firm of Kohner & Payne, whose other Detroit movie houses included the Uptown and the John Eberson-inspired Ramona, both long gone. After a long life as a first-run theater, the Irving switched to adult fare in the 70s, and continued to screen adult features into the 90s before it closed. The former theater now serves as a church.
10/3/2003 - WaterWinterWonderland
The Irving is closed but still stands. Photo courtesy of Ted Martin.
Irving Theatre - Photo from early 2000's
Photo from early 2000's
Irving Theatre - MARQUEE
Irving Theatre - SIDE OF BUILDING
Irving Theatre - FROM TED MARTIN
Irving Theatre - FROM TED MARTIN
Irving Theatre - FROM TED MARTIN
FROM TED MARTIN © 2022 Over 55,631,448 Served