Oakdale Theatre

Address: N/W corner of Stephenson Hwy and 8 Mile Rd
City: Hazel Park
State: MI
County: Oakland
Owner History:
Number of visits to this page: 12889
Info Updates:
3/3/2021 - Andy Gray

The second historic Michigan theater we'll look at today is the Oakdale Theatre in Hazel Park. My uncle's list of Johnson Construction Company theater jobs indicates two projects associated with this theater. One job was simply identified as "original" and the second job was completed in 1947. My grandad Al Johnson left behind just one Kodachrome slide with a street view of the theater taken in December 1949.

It's a great time capsule view of suburban Detroit life during that era. The theater features three pairs of classic red "Johnson doors," an ornate marquee and a prominent vertical "Oakdale" sign. To the left of the theater are a "Hall for Rent" and a Five-and-Dime store. Across the side street to the right is a drug store and a gas station. The slide also shows several old cars and trucks.

1/3/2012 - Carl Dahlke
In the early 40's it took 11 cents for us kids. I missed a saturday and it went up to 14 cents when I went back. Thats inflation for you. Locations are confusing. It was at 8 mile and Stevenson which becomes oakland when you cross 8 mile. both of which became I-75 sometime in the 60's I lived on George st from 1935 to 1955. A great show. I remember a group of high school band members playing on the sidewalk the day the war was over. It was a great day.
1/25/2011 - Al
Great seeing that photo. We lived on Muir St directly behind the theatre and across from the parking lot. Our family moved there in 52 and stayed until roughly 77. Me and my friends spent many a day either at the theatre or playing ball or flying kites in their giant parking lot. The Oakdale property was a big part my life growing up.
2/20/2010 - Bill Simpson
I remember my feet always sticking to the floor from all the dropped candy and being afraid to go into the bath room where guys were always hanging out smoking.
The screen also had holes in it where people had thrown things into it.
1/11/2010 - paul b.
I attended the Oakdale in the mid to late fifties and it was fifteen cents to get in if you were under 12. I spent a lot of saturdays there watching Elvis movies and others of that period. I especially remember West Side Story. My parents would give me a quarter, fifteen cents to get in and two boxes of root beer barrels that were a nickel apiece. One for each movie of the double feature. There was also a barber shop on this block and also a bar called the oakdale bar.
5/9/2009 - John
Nice to see this on the internet, but it stated it costed .25 cents to get in but it really only cost .15 cents if you were 12 or under and .50 cents if you were over 12 years of age. I know because my mother sent me and my brothers there almost every Saturday.......what a deal! Also it was on the corner of 8 mile and what is now I-75
6/3/2007 - Judy Nunley Stewart
I remember a bunch of us kids from Harry Street going to the Oakdale on Saturday for the matinee. A buck would get you in and buy popcorn-pop-and candy. Times were good.......
6/12/2006 - Gene Whisnant

This picture of the theatre brings back a lot of memories. My family moved to this area in 1950, from Arkansas. I would go to the theatre twice a week with my brother every time the movies changed. the tickets cost $.15 for kids, & $.50 ea for adults.

In 1959 we moved to the house right next to the theatre parking lot & I would help change the marquee with my friend Harold Borden. I started working there as a doorman, & also cleaned the theatre after school. The doormans job paid around $.35 a hour.

It got to be a rough theatre with the poolhall just across stephenson hwy. the Detroit gangs hang out over there, but we never thought much about it at the time. The Saturday, & Sunday matinees would be packed with Over 800 kids when a Elvis, or Scary Frankenstein movie was showing.

11/14/2005 - Tom Cooley
Located on the northwest corner of 8 mile and Stephenson Hwy/Oakland Ave in Hazel Park, next to Oak gas station on the corner. There was also a dance hall located upstairs next to Dr office next to theater. I would go to Oakdale every weekend, saw all the classic creature features from the fifties there (too many to name). A couple of my cousins, lived on Oakland and Winchester (first block south of 8 mile) used to work there also. Have many many memories of that theater.
Oakdale Theatre - FROM AL JOHNSON
Oakdale Theatre - VINTAGE SHOT
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