Discuss Detroit Archives - Beginning January 2007 Great Lakes Theater Picture Previous Next
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Brougham
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Username: Brougham

Post Number: 2
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Wednesday, January 24, 2007 - 6:30 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I found a picture I had from around 1970 that shows the Great Lakes theatre shortly after it stopped running films and hosted the production of the stage musical "Hair". The perspective is Grand River looking west towards Greenfield. You can see the Wards tower off in the distance. Also seen in the block is the Junior Achievement offices and Bills confectionary. I recall Bill, the proprietor, as being an immigrant (possibly Greek)and a little testy with us kids. He always wore a white apron and had a tooth pick hanging off his lips.
The Great Lakes Theatre
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Lowell
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Username: Lowell

Post Number: 3602
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Thursday, January 25, 2007 - 11:50 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Here is nearly the same shot from last summer. I notice the Bread of Life Ministry uses the same sign as in 1970. You can see the vacant lot where the Great Lakes Theater once stood.

Bread of Life Ministries Detroit


From Jan. 2005.

Bread of Life Ministries Detroit
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Lowell
Board Administrator
Username: Lowell

Post Number: 3601
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Thursday, January 25, 2007 - 10:45 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

BTW, Brougham's psot was originally posted for the HOF thread "Grand River /Fenkell / Greenfield Pics" but I thought it wa so nice it deserved a redux in Discuss Detroit. See Great Lakes Theater ruins in the original Fabulous Ruins of Detroit tour.
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Quozl
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Username: Quozl

Post Number: 117
Registered: 07-2005
Posted on Thursday, January 25, 2007 - 11:07 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Brougham, thanks for the pic. My grandma from Scotland lived right down the street from the Great Lakes on Terry St 4 doors down from the Hunter Calender Funeral Home. I went to the GL many times as a little boy. My Dad was a sponsor at that JA for a few years too in the 60's. I remember Bill too, though I thought he may was an Armenian.

Right across the street on the corner of Terry St and Grand River was the first "Head Shop" I had ever been in. It was called the Mouse House and is where I met R. Crumb on a Saturday afternoon doing illustrations and signing copies of ZAP Comix in '69. The place was playing Hendrix and incense was burning though my cousins made me swear on a stack of bibles I would not tell my Dad or Grandma that we were there instead of playing with friends on Lauder St.

Loads of my Dads family lived in that neighborhood on Prest, Marlowe and Whitcomb. Thanks again, it sure brings back great memories.

(Message edited by quozl on January 25, 2007)
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56packman
Member
Username: 56packman

Post Number: 937
Registered: 12-2005
Posted on Thursday, January 25, 2007 - 11:15 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The Great Lakes was known then as the "Vest Pocket theatre", a Niederlander off-shoot. The Great lakes was one of a few 20's movie palaces whose vertical marquee signs survived the scrap metal drives of the second world war. The Rivera and Ramona were the others that I knew of (as of the 70's-80's).
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Brougham
Member
Username: Brougham

Post Number: 2
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Thursday, January 25, 2007 - 2:32 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thanks Lowell for the pics of how it looks today and moving the message to a new thread. It's interesting to see what has survived time and what is gone. It looks like the basic structure of Bills store is there along with some of the signage. You can see the street light is unchanged but the pavement has been re-done.

Quozl- You are probably right about Bill being Armenian. I lived on Strathmoor between Schoolcraft and Tyler which is south of Grand River. I remember the Mouse House as well, I think "Mouse" had gone to California and left his mother in charge of the store. I walked to Burns elementary which was north of Grand River on Terry so I got to know the Grand River/Terry/Lauder/Coyle streets pretty well. I recall there were Dr offices and a Turkish bath house as well in the area. When we were kids we walked (or pedaled) everywhere, I put on some real miles back then. My first job was being a porter at the Dunkin Donuts on Greenfield just south of Grand River, it was somewhat of a hangout and I believe there were incidents at night that I always heard about the next day. If my parents had known I probably would not have been allowed to continue working there.

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