There was a group of photogs I ventured down to Detroit with this past July, and one of our stops was the Eastown Theater. This building was absolutely majestic in the day, at least from the pictures I have seen, but now the building lies in utter ruins in a pretty rough area of Detroit. In the first part, of this two part series, I really wanted to talk about the history of this building. In the second part I will show some more of my pictures and discuss the current state of this building. The theater was built in 1931 as a movie house due to the vast expansion and fascination with cinema during that era.
There have been numerous changes to the building over the years which I really wanted to show you. The very top picture is opening day at the Eastown, with all the hustle and bustle. The first movie was an early Clark Gable called Sporting Blood. It is amazing what can change over time though, when we arrived there was no longer buildings on either side of the theatre, all of the signs have been completely removed and there isn’t a car or person to be found. In August of 2010 a fire struck the Eastown and burnt down a significant portion of building. From what I understand the part that burnt was an apartment building which housed a number of people, and while on our trip a few photog’s found a lot of personal belongings mixed in the rubble.
Here are a few of the pictures I was able to take from the inside of the theater. The picture below is from the stage looking out and up at the balcony. You can see the rough condition this building is in. I don’t expect it to be standing much longer, since most of the walls were falling apart down to just the re-bar.
Check out the next part in a few days to see more of my pictures and to get a little more of the history around the Eastown Theatre.