Heard on CultureShift

WDET Listeners Say Farewell to the Main Art Theatre in Royal Oak

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Image credit: Claire Zelmanski

Hear listeners describe their memories at the 80-year-old theatre in downtown Royal Oak, which was recently shuttered by the theatre chain that formerly operated the hub for indie and art house film.

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It might be the end of an era for metro Detroit movie-goers. The Landmark-owned Main Art Theatre in Royal Oak shut its doors permanently in June after a temporary closure earlier this year due to COVID-19.

A group of organizers is currently exploring how to possibly re-open the theatre under new ownership, likely a non-profit model that mimics how the Redford Theatre in Redford currently operates.

As the fate of the storied 80-year-old theatre hangs in the balance, CultureShift invited WDET listeners to share their memories of watching art house and independent film fare over the years at the Main Art. 

The Main Theatre was the beginning of a wonderful lifelong romance. We had our first date there on November 11th, 1963. We shared our first kiss in the parking lot. 58 years later, we are celebrating our 53rd anniversary and it all began at the Main Theatre.” — Terry, St. Clair Shores

From discovering favorite movies to finding love to enjoying the saggy old red sofa, listen to listeners’ favorite memories of the beloved theatre:

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Ryan Patrick Hooper, Host, CultureShift

Ryan Patrick Hooper is the award-winning host and producer of CultureShift on 101.9 WDET-FM Detroit’s NPR station. As a longtime arts and culture reporter and photographer, Hooper has covered stories for NPR, Detroit Free Press, Hour Detroit, SPIN and Paste magazine.

hooper@wdet.org Follow @HooperRadio

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