Hollywood Theatre

Address: 4809 W Fort St
City: Detroit
State: MI
County: Wayne
Open: 1927
Capacity: 3436
Owner History: Detroit Theatre Enterprises
Number of visits to this page: 15123
Info Updates:
9/7/2013 - James Crider
In the 1940's, when I was around 12 years old, my sister and I and a couple of neighborhood kids, went to the Hollywood a few times. At that time, during WWII, the bus service was great. We lived in Ecorse, and a bus ran along West Jefferson about every 30 minutes. We kids would catch the bus in Ecorse and ride it along West Jefferson , thru the busy Delray section,turn left on Waterman Street to West Fort Street and get off right in front of the Hollywood. I don't remember any of the specific movies we saw, except I remember going there alone once, when one of the Mummy movies was playing, and the others didn't want to go. I also remember being very impressed about them selling a candy bar named Hollywood. I had never seen one before at other movie theaters ,and I wrongly thought they had their own signature candy bar. The Hollywood really was a class A+ Movie Theater, so beautiful inside and out. Wish someone had some pics of the inside that they could post.
8/26/2012 - Gistok
Although Charles N. Agree got the commission for the Spanish style Hollywood Theatre, he was not (yet) a theatre architect back in 1927. So he got lots of help from Graven & Mayger, the architects of the soon to open Fisher Theatre. Graven & Mayger were former Rapp & Rapp (theatre architectural firm from Chicago) employees who went off on their own at that time. They had designed the Alabama Theatre in Birmingham AL, and the Tennessee Theatre in Knoxville TN. both in Spanish/Moorish style similar to the Hollywood here in Detroit. Charles N. Agree also designed both the Grande and Vanity Ballrooms in Detroit. The Grande's design was similar to the Hollywood/Alabama/Tennessee Theatre's in design. and the Vanity was similar to the Fisher Theatre in design. So Agree owes a LOT of his design palette to Graven & Mayger. although in later years he never admitted it.
3/14/2009 - Tom Coles
A group of us went several times (when we were at Lincoln Park High School), during 1947-1949, to hear something like "The Battle of Bands." As I remember, two "jazz" bands were on opposite sides of the stage. The place "rocked." We sat in the balcony and, as I remember, it moved up and down some!

Does anyone have information on what bands played at that time? Thanks.
2/7/2005 - Unknown
This magnificent theater featured a room in the back of the theater with darkened glass (to prevent seeing in) where mothers could take childeren who had become unruly or loud or just bored with the screen fare. The room was sound proof so the kids could cry and make all the noise they wanted without disturbing the other patrons. It was also used by nursing mothers who didnt want to miss the show, or display their activities.
12/9/2004 - John Lauter
The Hollywood was a fantastic theatre built in the wrong part of town. The developers (Ben & Lou Cohen) obviously were trying to escape high land costs in the central downtown area (where all the people and theatres are!) and instead built west of downtown in a highly industrial area. The business there never was what they had hoped, and the Hollwood limped along until the late 50s. Its Barton organ was thought by the 20s organists to be the second best theatre organ in Detroit, behind the Wurlitzer in the Broadway-Capitol. It is one of three of the largest "stock model" Bartons. Detroit theatre organ enthusast Roger Mumbrue played the Hollywood Barton many times over a 4 year period, and attests to its quality. The Late Henry Przybylski purchased the organ in a sealed bid auction (for $3551.51--a stratigic sum) before the theatre was demolished. It sat in storage in his basement, attic and garage for decades before being purchased from his widow. It is now owned by a private individual who wants to restore it and install it into a public venue. Henry took an amazing set of slides of the demolition of the Hollywood. I have seen his narrated show twice, and almost feel as though I have been there. The demolition was so problem ridden that it drove the first two contractors broke.
1/13/2004 - Cinema Treasures
When it opened in 1927, the Hollywood was Detroit's second-largest theater seating well over 3400 patrons. It was built for the Cohen Brothers at a cost of over $2 million and was situated nearly a mile west of the long-established downtown entertainment district, Grand Circus Park. The architect, Charles N. Agree, designed this huge theater in the Spanish Renaissance style complete with a large balcony, stage, and orchestra pit, as well as a Barton organ. Its lobby was 60 feet tall, and the entire interior was full of multi-colored marble, gilded plasterwork, and valuable artwork. Its facade, with twin minaret-looking towers, soared over Fort Street, and it originally had a large vertical marquee. Its standard original marquee was intricately decorated with a rainbow colored neon-lit swirling pattern. The Hollywood opened with the picture "Alias the Deacon", and for its first few years of operation, featured the Hollywood-Sunnybrook Orchestra, led by Sammy Diebert. Due to its somewhat out of the way location, as well as its never jumping on the widescreen boom of the Fifties, the Hollywood really never was very popular. It turned to a double-feature program in the 40s and 50s, in order to stay afloat, but this still made little difference. Its last two films were "The Flesh is Weak" and "Blonde Bondage" in 1958. Sadly, this largely forgotten treasure was razed in 1963 to make way for a parking lot.
12/19/2003 - Box Office Magazine
April 1959 - Elliot Cohen has joined the optimists who believe the recession is receding. He reopened the the long-shut Hollywood Theatre in southwest Detroit.
12/18/2003 - Box Office Magazine
July 1959 - Detroit Theatre Enterprises, headed by Elliot Cohenm has closed the Hollywood.
Hollywood Theatre - OLD PHOTO
Hollywood Theatre - OLD PHOTO
Hollywood Theatre - OLD AD
Hollywood Theatre - OLD AD FROM JOHN LAUTER
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