Getting to know the Majestic Theatre

Majestic Theatre Detroit

Wondering how you’ll know if you’re in the right spot Saturday morning? Check out this Flickr set to get you familiar with the 4100-block area of Woodward Avenue.

Would you like to learn a little bit more about the Majestic complex? Take a look at this history below, taken from the Majestic’s web site:

The Majestic Theater
The Majestic, our largest live music venue, is the auditorium of the original Majestic Theatre. Built in 1915, The Majestic Theatre was touted as the largest theatre built for the purpose of showing motion pictures and also featured live vaudeville acts. The Majestic Theatre’s innovations in design included a new lighting system that could be raised and dimmed (“to go from sunrise to sunset”) and an air-conditioning system which generated cool air in the theatre by using huge fans to blow on giant slabs of ice located in the basement. Over the years, the theatre became a third- and fourth-run movie house, a church, a photo studio, a trophy shop and in 1987 became known as The Majestic, featuring live music and entertainment from touring blues, rock, jazz, folk, reggae and worldbeat artists.

The Majestic Cafe
In 1976 in an effort to “clean up the neighborhood,” the Zainea family acquired the space north of their Garden Bowl. This stretch of property housed a trophy making shop and in 1978 was renovated to open The Gnome Restaurant. Seating only 40, the Gnome was a unique spot decorated throughout with stained glass, traditional middle eastern cuisine, live jazz on weekends and live classical music during Sunday brunch. In 1983 the restaurant was enlarged to seat 100. For nearly a decade the Gnome thrived in the growing cultural center and is fondly remembered by area diners. In 1992 the Zaineas drastically changed the atmosphere of the restaurant to included exposed brick, beautifully restored wood, huge plate glass windows looking out onto Woodward Avenue, a hip and arty atmosphere, expanded the menu and became known as the Majestic Cafe.

The Garden Bowl
The Garden Bowl was built in 1913 making it the oldest bowling center in Michigan and among the oldest active bowling centers in the world! The Garden Bowl was originally a ten lane house with a billiard room on the second floor that featured a tournament-size table complete with four grandstands all around for viewing billiard tournaments. In 1926 the second floor was renovated to add more lanes, now totaling 22. Over the years the building was cut back thirty-five times in order to widen Woodward and the storefront became the Garden Bowl Bar. Building renovations in 1966 made way for more first-floor lanes and a billiards area. In 1992 the second floor was renovated leaving four lanes of bowling plus a new billiard area featuring ten tables and a stage for live entertainment and became known as The Magic Stick. Within one year, the last four lanes were covered to make room for growing audiences attending local and national live shows in

The Magic Stick
The Magic Stick resides in the original second floor of the Garden Bowl. The Magic Stick began to take shape in 1992 when eight of the twelve lanes were covered to accommodate ten billiard tables plus a dance floor and stage for live entertainment. One year later the final four bowling lanes were covered to accommodate growing audiences for live music in The Magic Stick. In early 2000, the Magic Stick underwent another renovation, classing up the joint with new carpeting, tile, raised platforms, new lighting and a larger stage and dance floor.