In 1928, the United Artists Theater was opened in downtown Detroit, showing exclusive first-run films with reserved seating. It’s a high rise tower designed by Charles Howard Crane adopting intricate Spanish Gothic architecture in its interiors. A 18-story, 200,000-square-foot office tower was also incorporated in the design just in case the theater became unprofitable. Its two storey lobby featured a grand staircase and a large chandelier. Rumor has it that it was also acoustically perfect and was used by the Detroit Symphony orchestra as a recording studio. However, by 1960′s the theater encountered financial turmoil and eventually had to close down permanently in 1974.
Through years of being passed from one investor’s hand to another, no effort to revitalize the theater was realized despite the many plans announced for its development. Today, the theater is in the hands of the Ilitch group of companies, still empty and decaying until its true and ultimate restoration.